Creator sues Lego for copyright infringement over Antoni Porowski’s leather jacket in Queer Eye

A leather jacket worn by Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski is at the center of a copyright infringement lawsuit after Lego created a toy version of the TV personality wearing a similar leather jacket.

During a final season of the hit Netflix series, Porowski wore a leather jacket by designer James Concannon. The design features artwork on the front, including a peace sign and a skull, and the words “thyme is on my sign” written in graffiti style on the back.

Last fall, Lego released a Queer Eye toy set featuring miniature versions of the show’s five stars, and one of the outfits available was a leather jacket with its own graffiti-style artwork.

In a lawsuit filed in Connecticut in December, Concannon said Lego “painstakingly copied not only the individual creative elements of the jacket, but also the unique placement, coordination and arrangement of the individual artistic elements.”

A leather jacket worn by Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski is at the center of a copyright infringement lawsuit

In October, Lego released a Queer Eye set that included an outfit option for Antoni that included a leather jacket with white artwork

In October, Lego released a Queer Eye set that included an outfit option for Antoni that included a leather jacket with white artwork

Designer James Concannon, who made Antoni's jacket, accuses Lego of

Designer James Concannon, who made Antoni’s jacket, accuses Lego of “meticulously [copying] not only the individual creative elements of the jacket, but also the unique placement, coordination and arrangement of the individual artistic elements’

According to The Fashion Law, Concannon created the custom leather jacket for Porowski in 2018.

In 2019, he shared photos of it on Instagram of the “Thyme Is On My Side” jacket, writing, “Spray paint and acrylic on leather.” 1 on 1. In the collection and worn by @antoni in the first episode of the new @queereye season. I love you Popo.’

The black jacket features a white skull on one side of the chest, with the words “raw” and “war” written above and below, and a yin-yang with smiling and sad faces on the collar.

There is a peace sign on the collar on the opposite side, while the left side also has a pair of chain-breaking fists and the words: “As the monuments fall / Tear down the walls / And shake the chain of hate / out of the brain of society”.

The back reads “thyme is on my side” in dripping white font on a gray background.

His costume says it was “created using a plain black leather jacket that Porowski sent to Concannon, to which Concannon added his original artwork, composing and arranging each artistic element to reflect his characteristic aesthetic”.

He copyrighted the design in November 2021.

Photos from the shoot so side-by-side comparisons of the designer's jacket and the Lego piece

Photos from the shoot so side-by-side comparisons of the designer’s jacket and the Lego piece

The black jacket features a white skull on one side of the chest, with the words

The black jacket features a white skull on one side of the chest, with the words “raw” and “war” written above and below, and a yin-yang with smiling and sad faces on the collar.

The reverse reads

The reverse reads “thyme is on my side” in dripping white font on a gray background

In Lego’s Queer Eye set, which went on sale in October 2021, one of the interchangeable top halves features a black leather jacket painted with white markings.

In the complaint, Concannon (pictured) accuses Lego of reproducing his jacket without permission or compensation, saying he

In the complaint, Concannon (pictured) accuses Lego of reproducing his jacket without permission or compensation, saying he ‘never agreed’ to allow the company to ‘exploit’ his work for free

Markings include what looks like a Lego skull, a smiley face on one side of the collar, a coin sign on the other, and a globe. There also seems to be a similar placement of buttons and zippers.

On the back it says “Rebuild the World” in dripping white font on a gray background.

In Concannon’s complaint, he accuses Lego of reproducing his jacket without permission or compensation.

The suit says “he certainly never agreed to allow LEGO – the world’s largest toy company, with over $5 billion in annual revenue – to commercially exploit his works for free.”

He said they “have and will continue to infringe his copyright on the jacket by, among other things, copying, publicly displaying, distributing and creating derivative works of the infringing product, which is substantially similar, derived and derived from [his] original artwork and design.’

Although Concannon designed the jacket in 2018, he didn't copyright the design until November 2021 - a month after Lego's Queer Eye set was released

Although Concannon designed the jacket in 2018, he didn’t copyright the design until November 2021 – a month after Lego’s Queer Eye set was released

He says Lego had offered him a free set, then revoked the offer.  The designer is now suing for monetary damages

He says Lego had offered him a free set, then revoked the offer. The designer is now suing for monetary damages

When he first brought the issue to Lego’s attention, he alleges that they offered him a “free Fab 5 Loft set – which costs $99.99 – for [his] six-year-old son to play with, only to revoke that offer, saying [him] that Lego does not give away its products for free.’

When Concannon sent a cease and desist letter, he says he was told a case against Lego “would be an ‘uphill battle’ [for them].’

Lego’s lawyers also claimed that “indeed, by offering the jacket to his friend Porowski knowing that [he] would wear the jacket on Queer Eye, Concannon granted an “implied license” to Netflix to use the jacket in any way it pleased, including sub-licensing the work to LEGO.

Concannon is suing for damages for ‘all damages [he] suffered and for any profit or gain by [LEGO].’