Update 24/11/2023: Casetify sent MobileSyrup the following statement about its legal situation with dbrand:
“Casetify has always been a bastion of originality, and we hold pride in that. We are currently investigating a copyright allegation against us. We have immediately removed the design in question from all platforms. We are also investigating a DDOS attack that disrupted our website around the time the allegation surfaced. All systems are back to normal. All customer information is safe. We thank you for all your encouraging messages during this challenging time!”
As expected, dbrand hit back with its own response:
It took you copy-pasting clowns a full day to write this? Better hope your lawyers are better than your PR team 💀 https://t.co/1uEdudUPKB
— dbrand (@dbrand) November 24, 2023
Toronto-based dbrand, a company best known for its very out-there social media presence alongside lawsuit-baiting tech giants like Sony and Nintendo, is embroiled in its own legal situation.
The skin and accessory maker is suing Casetify over claims it copied dbrand’s popular ‘Teardown‘ device skins and cases designed to look like the inside of whatever smartphone, tablet or laptop it’s attached to. The unique-looking stick-on skins create the illusion the device is transparent when it’s really just a high-quality decal attached to your device.
Following dbrand’s various X posts, Casetify’s website went offline (at the time of publication of this story, it’s still down).
Exhibit C: The string “R0807”.
— dbrand (@dbrand) November 23, 2023
Exhibit E: The “11.11” watt-hours.
This is, again, a reference to our founding date. This erroneous watt-hour metric is not on the battery of any smartphone, yet somehow appears on @Casetify’s products. (6/6) pic.twitter.com/3S6Ahu49K3
— dbrand (@dbrand) November 23, 2023
While it might seem like dbrand’s Teardown skins are straightforward wraps, a notable amount of work goes into their creation. The company says it needs to take apart the product, then scan its internals and edit the images, removing components like screws and wires to give it a cleaner look.
According to dbrand, Casetify stole its scans and applied them to its own products after slightly altering them. The situation started when Casetify launched its own take on transparent tech skins. However, instead of scanning individual devices, Casetify used the same skin across different smartphones and didn’t put effort into accurately representing the insides of the device they’re tied to, according to several posts on X.
I recently found out on Facebook that Casetify's Galaxy S23 Teardown case are based by iPhone XR 💀.
— Connor / 코너 / コナー (@OreXda) March 12, 2023
As expected, dbrand mocked Casetify’s products in a video posted to X, resulting in Casetify releasing a new line of transparent cases called ‘Inside Out’ tied to the actual devices they’re designed for.
dbrand says the images used for Casetify’s new line are stolen from its designs. The company claims Casetify rearranged some of the parts in its photos in an attempt to make them look different but that they’re still stolen from its own scans. There are even minor Easter eggs dbrand added to its scans, including “RO807,” a tag tied to the company’s branding, that appear in Casetify’s Inside Out line (you can find the full X thread of comparisons here — the evidence is pretty damning).
In total, dbrand says that Casetify copied 117 of its designs. The accessory maker says it holds the registered copyright for all of these designs and that they were registered ahead of Casetify’s “Inside Out” line launching.
dbrand first revealed its Teardown line back in 2019 through a partnership with YouTuber JerryRigEverything, a well-known YouTuber that takes tech products apart and tests their components.
Alongside the announcement of its legal action against Casetify, unsurprisingly, dbrand is taking advantage of the situation and is launching a new line of ‘X-Ray’ skins that are black and white and captured at 50-micron resolution, offering more detail.
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Header image credit: dbrand