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Keith Haring Foundation Wins Removal of Fake Art at Miami Exhibition

Files suit in federal court for trademark infringement and dilution, copyright infringement, false advertising and cybersquatting

March 11, 2013 (Boca Raton) – A team of Proskauer Litigation Department lawyers from the global law firm’s Boca Raton and New York offices secured an emergency court order for The Keith Haring Foundation, Inc., preventing the display of fake Keith Haring artworks at a Miami exhibition on March 8, 2013.

The foundation, which owns the intellectual property rights to the artist’s works, obtained the removal of nearly 200 pieces of fake art at an exhibit advertised and promoted as “Haring Miami: A Celebration of the Life & Art of Keith Haring.” Following the exhibit’s opening on March 6, the foundation applied for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and injunction on March 8 in federal court in Miami. 

As stated by the foundation in its complaint: “Defendants are currently promoting and conducting an art show that purports to feature original works by Keith Haring and his 'friends.’ In fact, the overwhelming majority of the works are not by Keith Haring; they are counterfeits and/or infringements. Defendants are also offering these counterfeit and/or infringing works for sale, and may have already made sales of such works.” 

After the restraining order and injunction were filed, the exhibit organizers, Colored Thumb Corp., negotiated a consent order with the foundation to resolve the TRO application, which the court then entered, agreeing to the immediate removal of all but 10 artworks from the gallery walls and destruction of all copies of the exhibit catalog and brochures.

The suit is ongoing and seeks damages and disgorgements of profits. The case is The Keith Haring Foundation Inc. v. Colored Thumb Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Led by Partner Sarah S. Gold, the Proskauer team includes Partners Margaret A. Dale (Intellectual Property), Matthew Triggs and Charles S. Sims (Litigation); Senior Counsel Jenifer deWolf Paine (Intellectual Property); Associates Jonathan Galler, Erika M. Stallings and Andrew B. Thomson (Litigation); and Legal Assistants Karen Molloy and Mary E. Thompson.

The Keith Haring Foundation, established by the artist in 1989, provides support to organizations that offer educational opportunities to underprivileged children and to organizations that engage in education, prevention and care with respect to AIDS and HIV infection.