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  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"
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Hancock Fabrics
Hall Of Shame Member
Added August 17, 2007

Last Updated December 25, 2009

We have located two federal courts cases concerning the use of fabric to make items to sell:

In Precious Moments vs La Infantil, 1997, the federal court invoked the first sale doctrine in denying Precious Moments attempts to block the use of its licensed fabrics to make bedding for sale. The 1st Circuit Court said making a fabric item from fabric lacked any originality so it was not copyright infringement. Since then, M&M/Mars, Disney Enterprises, Major League Baseball, United Media (Peanuts fabric), Sanrio (Hello Kitty fabrics), and Debbie Mumm, have been sued when these companies tried to block the eBay sales of items hand-crafted from their licensed fabrics. Every one of them settled rather than risk losing the issue in court.

In Scarves By Vera, Inc. v. American Handbags, Inc, 188 F. Supp. 255 - US: Dist. Court, SD New York 1960, American Handbags was using towels manufactured by Vera to make handbags for sale. On some of these handbags made with plaintiff's towels there could be seen, at the bottom, the name Vera coupled with the figure of a Scarab or Ladybug, all three of which were registered trademarks of Vera. The judge rejected Vera's copyright claims.

It should be noted that in both cases the judges required the defendants to provide disclaimers attached to the items because the items were being sold in stores. The disclaimers were to plainly disavow any relationship between the manufacturer of the item and the trademark owner. This was done so "an ordinary, intelligent purchaser" would not be misled that there was any connection. When selling on-line, a prominent, highly visible and well-placed disclaimer, such as our recommended Tabberone Disclaimer, would likely serve the same purpose and legal need as the disclaimers required by the courts. Precious Moments disclaimer court quotation and Scarves By Vera disclaimer court quotation.

Hancock Fabrics becomes the first national chain fabric outlet to join these ranks. Unlike their national competitors, to date, Hancock Fabrics has crossed over to the dark side.

On its web site, Hancock Fabrics lists a number of fabrics manufactured and distributed by Sykel Enterprises, another member of the Hall of Shame. The collegiate fabrics contain a warning statement that sounds like it came from the livid lips of that fruitcake, Sy Garfinkel, president of Sykel Enterprises.

"PLEASE NOTE: The licenses for these College products are for personal use only. They are not for resale. Manufacturing of any finished product for resale is not allowed. For this reason each customer is limited to a maximum number of 3 teams per order."

Now it becomes more apparent why Hancock Fabrics is in chapter eleven bankruptcy. Hancock Fabrics is being run by morons (no insult to any morons intended). In fact, we have a rare group picture of their board of directors to the right.
Hancock Fabrics Directors

First, there is no license for those fabrics. As we pointed out to the idiot running Sykel Enterprises, the agreement between Sykel and the colleges is not binding upon a third party who is not a signatory. That is basic contract law. But, Sy Garfinkel, yo-yo extraordinaire and world class idiot, doesn't get it. Or. doesn't want to. He even threatened us with a lawsuit! He had his lackey, Darren Cohen at Reed Smith threaten us with a lawsuit for "hundreds of thousands of dollars"! We told him, "Bring it on". Years later, we are still awaiting that lawsuit.

Second, there is no license, period, for fabric sold at retail. None. A manufacturer can place whatever they want on the selvage but it isn't legally binding upon the purchaser. And many federal courts have upheld the fact that restrictions placed upon the resale or use of a product are not enforceable.

Hancock's attempted to reinforce this silly policy by starting a Q&A blog wherein they repeat the same tripe. The first question appears to be a "tease" question that was fabricated to start the blog. They haven't answered to a really important question yet. The last question which was posted by Tabberone.

Third, Manufacturing of finished products for resale from licensed fabric is allowed. We can cite a court case supporting this; Precious Moments vs La Infantil, 1997. Hancock Fabrics cannot cite anything prohibiting it except unsupportable legal jargon and their unjustified fear of Sy Garfinkel's and Sykel Enterprises.

Does Hancock Fabrics want to sell collegiate fabrics so badly they will kiss Sy Garfinkel's ass? Really? Or did Sy threaten to throw a tantrum if you didn't do it his way? Do you really think he can afford to lose your business? What about integrity, Hancock Fabrics? What about being truthful?

As we say on our Sykel Enterprises Hall of Shame page:

Hey, Sy!
Sy Garfinkel Threatens To Sue Us!
Kiss this!

We express the same sentiments to any fabric retailer who perpetuates this lie.


 : Source:




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