“Fair Use” defense went sour on salted Dead Sea products

The Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court accepted a claim filed by Soroker Agmon Nordman on behalf of SEA OF SPA, a leading manufacturer of cosmetics based on Dead Sea minerals and awarded compensation for copyright infringement.

We were credited at a leading Israeli news portal:

Background: Soroker Agmon Nordman, Advocates & Patent Attorneys represent Sea of Spa Ltd., a leading Israeli Cosmetics Company who specialize in the development, manufacturing and distribution of Dead Sea Salt products worldwide.

In 2013, it came to the attention of our client, Sea of Spa, that Mr. Yitzhak Hadar, the owner of an Israeli online cosmetics sales website, was promoting sale of goods on his site whilst infringing on Sea of Spa’s intellectual property rights.

We claimed that despite an extensive prior IP related litigation between the parties, Mr. Hadar copied, without permission, 23 professional photographs and 21 texts belonging to Sea of Spa. Mr. Hadar used those photographs and text, for advertising and promoting products, on his site.

Sea of Spa filed a lawsuit, through Soroker Agmon Nordman, seeking compensation based on copyright infringement and unjust enrichment.

The Magistrates court ruled that the photographs and texts were eligible copyright protection and found sufficient creativity. The Court rejected the defendant’s Fair Use argument and ruled that that the use of the photographs and texts was not excused under the doctrine. The court held that defendant acted in bad faith by copying without obtaining prior consent that was easily attainable due to the parties’ involvement in previous litigation.

The Court ruled that the defendant infringed Sea of Spa’s intellectual property rights in 21 texts, each referring to a different product of Sea of Spa and awarded Sea of Spa compensation in the sum of 63,000 NIS plus  15,000 NIS in attorneys’ fees.