Shopify Sues Rival For Copyright Infringement Over E-Commerce Platform

Shopify Sues for Copyright Infringement

Canadian e-commerce provider Shopify (SHOP.TO) sued a subsidiary of Chinese technology company JOYY Inc (YY.O) in New York federal court on Tuesday, accusing it of illegally copying Shopify’s software to build its own e-commerce platform.

In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Shopify alleged that JOYY’s Shopline created a “thinly disguised knockoff” of its Dawn storefront-template technology to power competing e-commerce services.

Representatives for JOYY did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Shopify spokesperson stated that the company had “taken aggressive legal action against Shopline to uphold the integrity of Shopify’s products.”

JOYY, headquartered in Singapore and focused on social-media technology, acquired Shopline in 2022. Shopline announced in March that it would expand its business into the United States.

Shopify asserted that its Dawn software “forms the backbone of the way an e-commerce site appears and functions.” It informed the court on Tuesday that Shopline’s Seed software copies Shopify’s Dawn software “wholesale.”

“From the highest level of overarching organization to the smallest level of individual lines of code, the evidence of Shopline’s copying is overwhelming,” Shopify claimed, which also allegedly includes “large swaths” of matching filenames and other elements.

Shopify also informed the court that merchants using Shopline’s software violate its rights. The company requested the court for an unspecified amount of money damages and a court order blocking the alleged infringement.