The font Blooming Elegant is admired for its loping, cursive lettering, described by its creator as “playful” and “super flirty.” A download for personal use costs $17. On Wednesday, the font’s designer, Nicky Laatz, accused the online retailer Zazzle Inc. in US federal court of stealing the design and using it to fraudulently generate hundreds of millions of dollars for itself.
Zazzle, which sells custom-printed day planners, coffee mugs and other goods online, offered Blooming Elegant until recently among the hundreds of fonts available for customers to decorate their trinkets. In her complaint filed in a Northern California district court, Laatz claims Zazzle representatives asked the British font designer in 2016 to license her product. She didn’t respond and says a Zazzle employee, a senior network engineer, then bought a license meant for individual use and helped carry out the alleged fraud. Zazzle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.