KAWS just won a major court case against several Singapore-based companies who have been counterfeiting his work for the past few years. First reported by Artnet News, the U.S. District Court has awarded the American artist $900,000 USD on May 2 after finding Dylan Joy An Leong Yi Zhi and several companies he’s been working with called The Penthouse Theory and The Penthouse Collective, guilty of reproducing KAWS’ COMPANION figure and numerous other works, that together, would have a collective retail value of $63m USD.
Hailed by KAWS’ attorney Aaron Richard Golub as “a very important international case,” court documents revealed that the artist sent a cease-and-desist letter to Leong back in 2020 for creating hundreds of products that “chill the market for his original work because purchasers fear inadvertently acquiring a counterfeit,” according to a statement by KAWS’ legal team.
While many countries operate according to their own jurisdiction, Singapore recognizes and enforces U.S. court decisions. After officially suing Leong in 2021, the artist can rest a little easier knowing that justice has been served. “We’re now able to enforce this judgment around the world,” Golub added. KAWS and Golub now turn to seek judgement on Jonathan Anand, who was also reported as a defendant in the case.