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Shopify sues rival for copyright infringement over e-commerce platform

Post Time:2024-05-16 Source:Reuters Author: Blake Brittain Views:

May 14 (Reuters) - Canadian e-commerce provider Shopify (SHOP.TO) sued a subsidiary of Chinese technology company JOYY Inc (YY.O) in New York federal court on Tuesday, accusing it of illegally copying Shopify's software to build its own e-commerce platform.

Shopify said in the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, that JOYY's Shopline created a "thinly disguised knockoff" of its Dawn storefront-template technology to power competing e-commerce services.

Representatives for JOYY did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Shopify spokesperson said in a statement that the company had "taken aggressive legal action against Shopline to uphold the integrity of Shopify's products."

JOYY, which is headquartered in Singapore and focuses on social-media technology, acquired Shopline in 2022. Shopline announced in March that it would expand its business into the United States.

Shopify said its Dawn software "forms the backbone of the way an e-commerce site appears and functions." It told the court on Tuesday that Shopline's Seed software copies Shopify's Dawn software "wholesale."

"From the highest level of overarching organization to the smallest level of individual lines of code, the evidence of Shopline's copying is overwhelming," Shopify said, which also allegedly includes "large swaths" of matching filenames and other elements.

Shopify also told the court that merchants using Shopline's software violate its rights. Shopify asked the court for an unspecified amount of money damages and a court order blocking the alleged infringement.

The case is Shopify Inc v. Shopline Technology Holdings Pte Ltd, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:24-cv-03691.