The website for the Museum of Ice Cream prominently features a white unicorn with a gold horn but one design company claims the Instagram-friendly popup stole the design from them and now they are suing.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Pretty in Plastic claims they were approached by the Museum of Ice Cream in September 2016 to help them create a room installation for their Spring 2017 exhibition.
That November, Pretty in Plastic claims they asked the museum and its founder, Maryellis Bunn, to sign a non-disclosure agreement before they submitted their designs. They claim Bunn signed it that day.
Pretty in Plastic says they then delivered their concepts and each one contained language saying, “All concepts + designs are property of Pretty in Plastic. All rights reserved and cannot be reproduced without written permission.”
The solid-white unicorn with a long, gold horn was part of those designs.
According to Pretty in Plastic, after delivering their designs, negotiations with the Museum of Ice Cream “fizzled” and no deal was ever reached.
Fast-forward to the following October, Pretty in Plastic claims they received a newsletter from the Museum of Ice Cream, highlighting the “Rainbow Room” and including a unicorn “nearly identical” to the one they designed.
The company claims they reached out to the museum and Bunn to figure out “how this could have happened” but say they never received a response.
In June 2018, Pretty in Plastic claims they contact the museum again (this time, through counsel) and says the museum responded by saying they were legally entitled to copy the design.
Pretty in Plastic says Bunn has done several interviews claiming to have come up with the design herself. They claim the unicorn has been featured in magazines and other media and is prominently used by the museum on their website and social media.
According to the company, they have come up empty in their attempts to sue the Museum of Ice Cream in federal court. They are currently appealing the court’s decision to dismiss their copyright lawsuit.
In this lawsuit, they are suing for breach of contract, breach of confidence, intentional interference with contract, trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition. They are seeking unspecified damages.