MOSCOW, September 23 (RAPSI/RIA Novosti) – Russia’s new Intellectual Property Court has called for fresh hearings for a St. Petersburg fashion designer prohibited, at the behest of the renown Hermitage Museum, from using one of Thomas Gainsborough’s best-known paintings in her work, the court told the RAPSI news agency Monday.
Earlier this year, two lower courts ruled to block designer Iya Yots from publicly displaying a reworking of the painting "Portrait of a Lady in Blue," which became part of the Hermitage’s collection in 1916. By some accounts, it is the only original of the English artist’s work in Russia.
Yots appealed the decision, first made in February and reaffirmed by a second court in May, arguing that the 18th-century portrait is in the public domain and that she has used a version of it on her website and in her store but was not profiting from its reproduction.
The Intellectual Property Court – which has been functioning since July – announced Monday that it has upheld her appeal.
Now the case is to return to the original court where it was heard, the Commercial Court of the Stavropol Territory in southern Russia.
While the Intellectual Property Court has thus far released only its decision, the explanatory part of its ruling will likely include arguments against the lower court’s verdict.