As we learned earlier this month, Jeff Koons invented the balloon dog, and therefore has exclusive rights to any merchandise or art object that bares its likeness, an indisputable fact that he’s more than willing to hash out in court. After sending a cease-and-desist letter to the shop and gallery selling balloon dog bookends, ArtsBeat reports that Koons is going after the Toronto-based company that manufactured the book-bracing forgeries.
Park Life, the San Francisco-based store and gallery that received the first cease-and-desist letter back in December, has continued to sell the bookends, albeit no longer through the gallery’s website. Faced with such defiance in the ongoing sale of the $30 bookends, Koons—who has been sued four times for copyright infringement, and maintains a studio in Chelsea with a staff of 120, and lives in the second-largest single-family home in Manhattan—is suing Toronto-based company Imm-Living, which manufactures the illegal fake art objects.
Lawyers consulting with Park Life and Imm-Living’s lawyers both consider the case absurd. Rod Bynes, a lawyer for the latter, told ArtsBeat: “We’re more than willing to vigorously defend this. We think they’re totally wrong.” In the meantime, Koons is drafting his next cease-and-desist, this one for the International Balloon Association, which, it turns out, has been supplying makers of counterfeit balloon dogs with materials and representation for decades.