Shopify Targets Shopline Over Alleged Copying of Templates [2024]
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Shopify Targets Shopline Over Alleged Copying of Templates

Last modified: May 17, 2024

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The e-commerce platform Shopify has filed a lawsuit against Singapore-based rival Shopline, accusing it of replicating Shopify’s storefront templates and infringing on copyrights.

Shopify Alleges Wholesale Copying

In the legal complaint filed in a US district court, Shopify claims that Shopline reproduced several of its storefront templates “pixel by pixel.” It alleges this amounts to copyright infringement and unfair competition.

Shopify argues that by making “verbatim copies,” Shopline has deprived Shopify of the value of its creative works and caused market confusion. The Canadian firm seeks monetary damages and wants Shopline to stop using the copied templates.

Rival Claims Fair Use

Shopline has denied any wrongdoing, stating that it designs its own templates and that its customers can customize the look and feel as they wish. It says any similarities are due to following common web design conventions.

The Singapore startup argues that Shopify cannot claim ownership over basic website elements or concepts like layouts, colors, and fonts that are fundamental building blocks freely used across the internet.

Escalating Legal Battle

This lawsuit marks an escalation in the legal tussle between the two e-commerce platforms competing in Asia. In 2022, Shopline sued Shopify in Singapore over alleged false marketing claims.

With both companies rapidly expanding their user bases across the region, this intellectual property dispute highlights the rising tensions in the flourishing e-commerce market.

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Conclusion: Shopify Targets Shopline Over Alleged Copying of Templates

The lawsuit, if successful, could deal a significant blow to Shopline by restricting its ability to offer certain storefront designs. However, the outcome will likely hinge on legal interpretations around software copyrights and the boundaries of fair use.

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