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DHS Agents Raid Lingerie Shop, Save America From Unlicensed Underwear
Your homeland has never been more secure. (h/t to Techdirt reader jupiterkansas)
Quote:“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”
Peregrine Honig runs a lingerie shop in Kansas City. Not coincidentally, her shop was raided by DHS agents just as the World Series commenced. The target? "Boy shorts" sporting an approximation of the Kansas City Royals logo as well as the cheekily-applied phrase (yes, pun completely intended) "Take the crown."

For purely illustrative purposes, here's the last known photo of the item now in the temporary possession of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Quote:They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn’t use the logo.
Which she technically didn't. It was her own drawing, but the DHS agents pointed out that "connecting the K and C" turned it into the protected property of a major league baseball franchise.

Up until the fortuitously-timed DHS raid, Honig had experienced no problems with law enforcement.
Quote:"We'd had so many cops come in and buy these," Peregrine Honig says.
The DHS has yet to comment on its pre-World Series panty raid. Neither has ICE, which is also usually fairly active in the days leading up to major sporting events. Neither agency has bothered to issue a press release about the hard work done in service to the multibillion-dollar entities currently attempting to "take the crown."

Honig, however, has provided plenty of color commentary, including the fact that these particular DHS agents didn't appear to be reveling in their petty IP enforcement efforts.
Quote:She says you could tell “they [DHS agents] felt like they were kicking a puppy.”
At least there's still a little shame left in overzealous trademark enforcement. This is part of what your $39 billion a year in mandatory contributions gets you: a few dozen pairs of underwear seized, most likely at a cost exceeding the retail value of the "counterfeit" goods.

Originally Published: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:14:00 GMT
(Nov 03, 2014, 12:00 pm)Mike Wrote: A few more details have emerged concerning the Dept. of Homeland Security's daring daylight raid of a Kansas City lingerie shop. Our long, dark national nightmare ended just before Game 1 of the World Series when Peregrine Honig's custom-made Royals-related underwear was seized by gun-toting DHS agents. The crime? Presumably trademark infringement (the government's panty raiders specifically pointed out the joining of the letters K and C as problematic), although everyone involved (including the DHS super troopers) keeps referring to it as a "copyright" issue.

But lingerie shop proprietor Peregrine Honig wasn't the only one involved in this criminal attempt to join the letters K and C across the buttocks of perky Kansas Citians. Techdirt reader GMacGuffin points us to this interview with Eric Lindquist, owner (and sole employee) of Lindquist Printing, where Honig's allegedly infringing design was applied to a durable (but breathable) cotton blend.

Apparently, the DHS agents first tried a little subterfuge in hopes of catching Lindquist in the act of infringement.
Quote:“Agents met me on my way to a café next door to Birdies.” (Undercover officers wanted to know if Lindquist printed the panties.) “I said, ‘Yeah, we’ve done a bunch of projects in the past...’ He cut me off and says, ‘Well, I’ve got a project like that. Do you want to meet?’ I said, ‘I’m really busy. I don’t think I can get anything done if it’s Royals related. I’m planning on leaving town tomorrow.’”
At this point, the DHS likely felt they had a fleeing felon on its hands. Lindquist, however, didn't put this all together until he saw the lingerie store's Facebook page, which contained a post showing the infringing panties in a DHS evidence bag.

The DHS agents again tried to get Lindquist to agree to whip up some printed infringeables for them, but the print shop proprietor headed this off by demanding something rarely found in the possession of law enforcement officers: a warrant.
Quote:I said, ‘I don’t know what to do at this point. I think I’m supposed to ask for a warrant.’ He took that very poorly, explained I was in serious trouble and faced potential fines up to $250,000 and/or six years in jail. He said I had broken copyright law. "
("Copyright law." Or whatever. I guess the finer nuances of IP enforcement are left to those in the upper reaches of the DHS organizational chart.) The warrant request angered the g-men, as did Lindquist's decision to stop talking to them. Lindquist retreated back into his studio. When he emerged a half-hour later, DHS agents approached him in a more straightforward fashion, with hands resting gently but threateningly on their holstered firearms.
Quote:“Two agents were in the dumpster, another six in my space, and another two were securing the building out front. They told me it could go one of two ways: I could insist or resist a search by demanding that a warrant be delivered there. If that was the case they would need to confiscate anything related to printing, which is, basically, my business.

“I didn’t feel I had much choice. So I did sign a piece of paper saying they had permission to search the premises…"
That's what you get for exercising your rights, as they say. Rather than lose his business indefinitely (via the "forfeiture" of his presumed-guilty equipment), Lindquist waived his rights and allowed the ten DHS agents to rifle through his stuff in search of infringing goods. Their efforts were ultimately useless and Lindquist was allowed to return to his violated studio.

Bonus points for Lindquist: Because of a recent freelance (with the emphasis on "free") stint in Ferguson, MO, DHS agents searched his studio while surrounded by photos of cops hauling away protesters. Rumors that Lindquist greeted DHS agents clad in one of his Ferguson-inspired creations -- an UNARMED CIVILIAN shirt -- are unconfirmed, but we're certainly free to imagine they're true.

Security Through IP Enforcement. That's MY DHS!

Originally Published: Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:37:00 GMT

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