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What just happened? Dbrand, the skins/wraps company that has repeatedly dared gaming giants to sue it for potential copyright infringement, has launched a lawsuit of its own against Casetify. Dbrand says the rival firm blatantly copied the design of its own "transparent" Teardown products in its Inside Out line.
Dbrand Teardown products are created in collaboration with Jerry Nelson, the gravel-voiced star of YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, which regularly puts new devices through physical stress tests and examines their internals.
The Teardown decals and cases are designed to look exactly like the internals of the devices they cover, giving them the appearance of having a transparent casing.
Nelson and Dbrand say they "go to extreme lengths to ensure that every Teardown skin is an accurate representation" of each device's insides. They are taken apart, the internals are scanned using a commercial-grade machine, and the images edited to remove elements such as screws and to ensure the design fits on its intended phone, laptop, or tablet.
Dbrand has listed what it claims is evidence that Casetify's Inside Out steals its Teardown design, and it's pretty compelling. The first sign is that the catchphrase "GLASS IS GLASS AND GLASS BREAKS," coined by Nelson and used in the Teardown designs but not within any devices, appears on Casetify's products.
Exhibit A: The phrase "GLASS IS GLASS AND GLASS BREAKS".– dbrand (@dbrand) November 23, 2023
This is a catch-phrase coined by Teardown co-creator @ZacksJerryRig. This tagline does not exist on the internal hardware of any smartphone, yet somehow appears on @Casetify's products. (2/6) pic.twitter.com/UpB2u5zg3M
Elsewhere, the digits 11 11 11, Dbrand's founding date, is also on its the Inside Out line, as is the "all seeing eye" that the company regularly uses, the "R0807" tag, and the 11.11 watt-hours label – another reference to its founding date and not related to a device's battery.
Exhibit E: The "11.11" watt-hours.– dbrand (@dbrand) November 23, 2023
This is, again, a reference to our founding date. This erroneous watt-hour metric is not on the battery of any smartphone, yet somehow appears on @Casetify's products. (6/6) pic.twitter.com/3S6Ahu49K3
Back in March, Dbrand posted a video apparently showing how Casetify's Inside Parts line recycled the same images of device internals across multiple designs. A few months later, the company released its Inside Out series with the accurate internals that Dbrand says are stolen and slightly rearranged to hide the theft.
Dbrand says in its Canada-filed suit that Casetify infringed upon its copyrighted works with 45 Inside Out products. It's asking for eight figures in damages. Casetify has now removed every Inside Out product from its website.
Despite what looks like a mountain of evidence against it, Casetify responded to the accusations by referring to itself as a "bastion of originality." It is investigating the copyright claims, as well as a DDOS attack that disrupted its website when the allegations surfaced, apparently.
Back in May, Dbrand released some very Zelda-like themed decals for the Switch that included a coded message in the stickers that read "Go fu*k yourself, lawyers."
In February 2021, Dbrand made black PS5 faceplates that gave the console a look closer to its predecessors. the company even taunted Sony by telling it to "go ahead, sue us," which it threatened to do a few months later. Dbrand's response to Sony's cease-and-desist letter came a week later in the form of a new design for its faceplates that differentiated them from the PS5. "Checkmate, lawyers," was the message it sent to the Japanese gaming giant.