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Because of the Jeff Koons dog, thousands of balloon animal makers around the world had better start watching their backs.

The artist has recently issued a cease and desist letter to a small San Fransisco store named Park Life that sells balloon dog book ends. The letter claims that a set of bookends is a ripoff of the Jeff Koons dog, which sits atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The conflict is the first to arise over balloon animal shapes, many of which have existed for decades and have no defined copyright owners. If a legal battle ensues, however, the result could have dramatic implications not only for the obscure art form but for the many other ambiguous copyright claims over iconic items and shapes like the Jeff Koons dog.

Photo Credits: designboom | mediabistro