Artist sues Lego over 'Queer Eye' jacket design

Fashion designer James Concannon is suing Lego after they allegedly copied a jacket he designed for Queer Eye star, Antoni Porowski.

Split screen - On the left a photograph of Antoni Porowski from the tv show, Queer Eye for a Straight Guy wearing a leather jacket with designs by artist James Concannon. The image on the right is a picture of a lego minifigure with similar quiffed hair, wearing a lego jacket with almost identical markings.
Image: @conscienc2 and @toyshopuk

Fashion designer James Concannon is suing Lego for allegedly copying his jacket design in their set, ‘Queer Eye – The Fab Five Loft’.

Concannon created the jacket for Antoni Porowski, one of the presenters on the hit show Queer Eye, after Porowski sent him a plain black leather jacket. The designer emblazoned the piece with his unique trademark designs before returning it to Porowski for use in the show.

According to the Guardian, Concannon has accused Lego of recreating the leather jacket without his permission, claiming that the toy jacket is a “blatant copy” of his design. According to the fashion designer, however, the Lego jacket copies “the unique placement, coordination, and arrangement of the individual artistic elements”.

Having made several clothing items for Porowski in the past, in the lawsuit Concannon maintained that since 2017, Netflix had consistently sought consent from him to show his clothes on the show prior to airing episodes.

However, in the fourth series, Porowski appeared in an episode wearing the jacket. According to the fashion designer, Netflix never sought his permission to feature the jacket but he believed it to be an oversight.

According to the lawsuit, after becoming aware of the Lego jacket’s similarities to his creation, Concannon contacted the company. He alleges that he was offered a set of Lego worth $99.99 by a customer service representative in compensation. However, another company representative later informed him that Lego had a policy of not giving away products for free.

Further to this, the lawsuit alleges that Concannon’s attorney proceeded to contact the company on his behalf. Apparently, lawyers acting on behalf of Lego have confirmed that the company had copied the design of the jacket but maintained that the fashion designer’s decision to give the jacket to Porowski permitted an “implied license” to Netflix.

In refusing a cease-and-desist order, they argued that this “implied license” entitled Lego to reproduce the jacket under their licensing agreement with Netflix.

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