Printful files charges in the US against Printify

Two of Latvia's most successful startups of recent years - with similar names, too - are at loggerheads in the U.S. courts.

Printed products manufacturer Printful Latvia’s parent company Printful Inc. filed charges in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco on December 3, accusing print on-demand platform Printify’s parent company Printify Inc. of infringement of intellectual property rights and unfair commercial practices, according to Printful Latvia representatives.

Printful Latvia representatives announced that Printful has accused Printify of illegally copying and modifying the Woocommerce integration software code created by Printful. The code allows for easy postage calculations, which give users specific postage costs for their products. 

Printful published their first integrated software code in October 2014, and came out with a new, updated Woocommerce code in June 2017, which they believe Printify has copied, publishing the Woocommerce code as their own a few months later, according to Printful Latvia representatives.

"At Printful we operate honestly, following no only applicable laws, but also the highest ethical standards and principles, which is why such conduct that could infringe on our intellectual property rights isn’t and won’t be acceptable," said Printful General Counsel Baiba Orbidāne. 

Meanwhile Printify Founder Jānis Berdigans told the media that he only found out about the charges filed in the US from the Latvian media. He isn’t currently prepared to comment any further until their US lawyers have seen the charges.

Berdigans did, however, comment that "clearly this is a smear campaign and an attempt by competitors to undermine Printify’s reputation in Latvia".

"Apparently Draugiem Group isn’t pleased with the competition and our lower prices, so they’re trying to obstruct our operations using the legal system. It’s unfortunate that Latvians choose to fight competition in this way. In our opinion, competition is a good thing, and we can even say that all PR is good, so for that we thank them," Berdigans announced to the media.

Printify Inc. was founded in 2015 in Delaware by Berdigans, Artis Kehris and Gatis Dukurs. Information on Firmas.lv shows that Printify Development, owned by Printify Inc., had a 1.069 million euro turnover last year, which is 6.9 times more than the previous year. The company had a 105 553 euro profit last year, compared to a loss the previous year, according to LETA news agency.

Printful Latvia was registered in February 2017 with a 350 000 euro equity capital. In 2018, the company had a 11.461 million euro turnover and 4.229 million euro profit. The company’s beneficiaries are Lauris Liberts and Agris Tamanis.

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