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HELSINKI/KIEV May 29 Finnish clothing and home
furnishings retailer Marimekko admitted one of its
fabric patterns was copied from Ukrainian folk art in an
incident which may lead to copyright claims and hurt the
Helsingin Sanomat newspaper earlier on Wednesday reported
about almost identical similarity between Marimekko's pattern
from 2007 and a 1963 painting by the late Ukrainian folk artist
Designer Kristina Isola and the company confessed and
apologised for the plagiarism, which was viewed by the owner as
a serious copyright violation.
"I didn't think about copyright or that I took someone
else's creative work," Isola said in a statement.
The "Metsanvaki" design, a naivistic portray of a forest,
has also been painted on a side of one of Finnair's
A museum that owns the painting considered the incident as
"We will seek legal advice on this matter because this is a
serious copyright violation," said Adriana Vyalets, the director
of the National Museum of Ukrainian Folk Art.
Marimekko's design chief Minna Kemell-Kutvonen told Reuters
it was difficult to evaluate the impacts for the company as yet
as the firm had learned about the plagiarism only late on
Monday. Shares in the firm fell 2.2 percent by 1157 GMT.
Previously Marimekko has been fighting for its own
copyrights. In 2007 it asked a German court to ban the sales of
Dolce & Gabbana's certain products, saying the Italian company
was using its patterns without permission. The dispute was
settled in 2008.
The company, known for its colourful prints which decorate
many homes in Finland, earlier this month reported first-quarter
loss due to a costly expansion in the United States and weaker
sales in Finland.
(Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl and Olzhas Auyezov)