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Fab.com Sues Rival Flash Sales Site

The copyright infringement suit claims TouchOfModern copied Fab's look, feel, and text.
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TouchOfModern has gone from a Fab copycat to an alleged Fab copyright infringer.

Fab, the online flash sales site for home furnishings, is suing rival San Francisco-based company TouchOfModern for copyright infringement. The suit was filed on August 9, and Fab CEO Jason Goldberg is confident that the matter be quickly resolved in his favor.

"We build all of our own technology, and take pride in the unique design of our website and mobile apps," Goldberg said in a prepared statement. "We have have gathered a significant amount of evidence to support our lawsuit, and the copycat claim against TouchOfModern is very strong."

Fab spokesman Ryan Merchant was unable to provide a copy of the complaint at press time, but Goldberg's statement accuses TouchOfModern of copying Fab's site design, general aesthetic, and "lifting exact copy."

TouchOfModern plans to fight the charges.

"Either we defend ourselves, or succumb to this lawsuit," marketing rep Dennis Liu said. "But we're talking to legal counsel now and we think the grounds [of this suit] are baseless."

According to Liu, Fab sent a cease and desist letter to TouchOfModern prior to the company's official launch earlier this spring. The letter alleged TouchOfModern copied stylistic elements from Fab, including having a black floating box placed on top of an photo on its homepage and placing product images side-by-side. These allegations resurfaced last week when Fab filed its legal complaint.

Liu added that while TouchOfModern's business model appears similar, the company differentiates itself by focusing on a different market segment.

Fab closed a $105 million funding round last month, so it certainly has pockets deep enough for a lengthy court battle. TouchOfModern, which was founded in April, may not, but fighting the lawsuit is a necessity.

Last updated: Aug 16, 2012

JOHN MCDERMOTT | Staff Writer

John McDermott is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on AOL.com. He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for Inc.com.




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