Artist Romero Britto, known for his crayon-bright colors, black lines and bold patterns, is suing technology giant Apple and a London design firm in Miami federal court, contending that the centerpiece of Apple’s worldwide “Start Something New” ad campaign resembles his artwork. “Romero Britto is a peace-loving guy,” said his attorney Robert Zarco. “He is not one to file lawsuits, but he is being professionally abused. He needs to defend his property and honor.” The 29-page suit, filed April 6 on behalf of Miami Beach-based Britto Central Inc., claims that the central image in Apple’s campaign infringes on Britto’s “trade dress” and creates unfair competition. Named in the suit: Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., and the design firm that created the campaign, Karl Maier, Ltd., composed of Craig Redman of New York and Karl Maier of London. Pop artist Romero Britto’s work has appeared on luggage, baby carriers, shoes and other items. “They are basically copying Britto’s art and benefiting from it,” said Zarco, who said he first saw the campaign in an Apple store in China and thought the work was Britto’s. Apple declined to comment on the lawsuit Monday.
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