This Cowplain businesswoman says Primark ’stole’ her nail designs

A COWPLAIN entrepreneur is readying herself for a ‘David vs Goliath’ struggle after accusing Primark of ‘stealing’ her nail designs.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 6:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 6:21 pm
Jerri Cook, owner of Dippy Cow Nails, has accused Primark of 'stealing' her nail designs. Picture: Jerri Cook

Jerri Cook started Dippy Cow Nails in 2016, beginning with a few designs that she would sell on the e-commerce website Etsy. 

However the demand for her nails soon boomed and within four months she had quit her job to run the business full time. 

Miss Cook, 30, explained: ‘I do everything myself - design, creation, packaging, marketing, photography, social media, customer service. You name it!

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Jerri Cook (left) founded Dippy Cow Nails in 2016. Picture: Jerri Cook

‘That’s what makes it even harder when you find that a handcrafted piece of your own art is replicated and sold for £2 on the high street.' 

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She discovered that her designs had been ‘stolen’ by Primark while looking through eBay. 

‘I regularly monitor sites like eBay for copycats or people using my own images,’ she said. 

Dippy Cow Nails design (right) and Primark's product (left) bare a number of similarities including cactus designs and colour patterns. Picture: Jerri Cook

‘I found out my design was stolen because I saw a set of the Primark nails being sold on eBay.

‘For a year and a half or so Primark have been releasing their own line of press on nails.  It is most likely that they’ve seen the demand and popularity of them across social media.

‘I have since seen them sold in different Primark stores and have a set myself for record.’ 

Miss Cook says that nail designs, which she says Primark have ‘stolen’, were the first ones she created when launching Dippy Nails in 2016. 

Jerri Cook spotted the similarities between the Primark product and her own when a pair of the high street brand's nails appeared on eBay. Picture: Jerri Cook

She explained: ‘I first made that design in 2016, and it was one of my first ever designs. I actually still have the original set I made. 

‘I sold it on my Etsy store in 2016 and while I no longer sell the designs the image used is still on Pinterest and still links to my Etsy store.

‘So there could be no way that the image could have been seen and their researchers not realise that it was linked to my store.

‘They copied everything about the set even down to the shape. 

‘They’ve not used that shape of nail in any of their other press on nail designs, and every single nail is exactly the same.’ 

Miss Cook says that she feels ‘completely helpless’ and as a one woman business she doesn’t ‘have the funds’ to take legal action against Primark. 

She added: ‘It’s a total David vs Goliath situation and there is so little information or resources out there with regard to copyright issues.

‘Though I have a large social media presence, especially Instagram, and am very well known in the press on nail community, I simply don’t feel I have the funds for legal action. 

‘I’ve felt so intimidated by the scale of Primark, knowing they would have a powerful legal team that I’ve not even known where to start.

‘I’m hoping that the exposure will open some doors for me in terms of legal assistance. 

‘I am being put in touch with the solicitor who won Scamp and Dude’s copyright cases against Next and ASDA but this would only be feasible on a pro bono basis. 

‘Other than that I’d love to hear from any local legal representatives who feel they could help knowing my circumstances.

‘I have a wealth of evidence to support a fight, but am unsure where to begin.’ 

Responding to Miss Cook’s allegations, a spokesman for Primark said: ‘This design is part of the wider cactus/geometric trend identified by our buying team earlier this year. 

‘However, we are sorry to hear that Ms Cook feels this way and urge her to contact customer care directly [email protected] so we can fully investigate her claim.’