HONOLULU (CN) - CaféPress cost a painter $250,000 by removing his name from an artwork and selling products featuring the art directly to a foreign client, cutting out the creator, the painter claims in court.
Tiki Shark Art sued California-based CafePress.com, in Federal Court.
Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker owns Tiki Shark Art, which is based in Kailua-Kona on the west side of the Big Island.
Parker says in the lawsuit that he painted "Forbidden Island" in 2007 and owns all rights to it.
He claims Café Press sells "blank" products that can be customized by members with their imprint, then sells and ships them to the public. Café Press gets paid for orders and pays members a commission based on the products sold.
But "Parker and Tiki Shark have never been associated with Cafe Press' products or endorsed Cafe Press' products," according to the complaint.
Parker claims he lost a $257,728 order from a Dubai company after the company found his work on the CafePress website.
He claims the Dubai company order 25,000 towels directly from him, each one to bear his "Forbidden Island" image, then canceled it and bought it through Café Press.
Parker claims Café Press removed his name from the original painting, and has been selling it on towels, flip-flops, mugs and other items without his permission.
He seeks damages for copyright and trademark infringement and lost profits.
He is represented by David Smith in Keauhou, Hawaii and Joel Rothman of Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property in Boca Raton, Fla.