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Search Essays by Category

businessaffairs

Corporate and business forms, state law compliance,employment and labor issues.

copyright

Protects original artistic works (e.g., images, patterns, etc.)

counterfeit

Preventing imitation, knockoffs, and unauthorized use of branded marks

design patent

Protects new, original, and ornamental designs (e.g., shoes)

patent

Protects new products processes, machines, compositions of matter, or improvement thereof

social media

Interactive communications and the internet (e.g., Twitter, blogs, and Facebook)

trade dress

A form of trademark including the visual appearance and packaging of a product

trademark

Words, logos, and symbols that identify and distinguish your brand's products.

other

Import/export regulations, real estate, e-commerce, retail laws, and misc



Recent Essays

Diamonds by the Yard, Silver Teardrops, and Open Hearts

By Sara Alexandre [November 24th, 2012] ADD A COMMENT

Window Shopping at Tiffany's

For some of us, window shopping was the extent of our purchase power at Tiffany’s.  But when some of Elsa Peretti’s elegant and fluid jewelry became part of Tiffany’s collection at $250 and under, even modest incomes could afford to take part in the Tiffany tradition and bring home a magnificently crafted piece in a smart robin’s egg blue box.  Alas, recent reports have revealed that Peretti and Tiffany may be parting ways, eliciting many a frustrated sigh from aspiring plebeians everywhere.  

Burberry’s Bogie Bogy

By Sara Alexandre [November 22nd, 2012] ADD A COMMENT

Burberry's Bogie Bogy

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine”. No, that isn’t Rick about Ilsa, it’s Burberry about the Bogart Estate. Of all the, say, 800 million Facebook accounts in existence, a pair of peepers from the Bogart Estate happened to land on Burberry’s Facebook page, and, surprise, surprise, didn’t like what it saw. 

Burberry Takes All

By Sara Alexandre [November 27th, 2012] ADD A COMMENT

Burberry Takes All

Burberry Awarded $100 Million in Fight Against Counterfeit Websites

A Manhattan Federal Court recently granted Burberry a $100 million award, ruling that a collusion between Chinese internet counterfeiters infringed upon the brand’s trademark

Counterfeiters beware, you are In Our Sites…

By Tyler Davis [November 27th, 2012] ADD A COMMENT

Top Level Domains

The Department of Justice (DOJ) seized over $1.5 million in proceeds from the distribution and sale of counterfeit sports apparel on illegal commercial websites. In addition to this seized capital, the DOJ seized three domain names. Counterfeit apparel plagues any brand owner and robs the purchaser of quality goods. The online policing necessary to protect a brand and its purchasers is costly and time consuming. US law enforcement has risen to the challenge to assist brand owners and authorized producers of these goods. In-house methods are not always sufficient, and counsel should take advantage of government initiatives to combat this counterfeit and online infringement.

The Fashion Industry Underutilizes Design Patents

By Khalil El Assaad [January 30th, 2012] ADD A COMMENT

Deisgn Patent

Design Patents are underutilized in the Fashion Industry. While many in the Industry intellectually understand that Design Patents protect unique fashion designs (e.g. for clothing and accessories), they nevertheless seem to prefer Intellectual Property protection based on copyright, trademark, and trade dress, leaving Design Patents underutilized. This is because, like Urban Myths, there lingers in some corners of the Fashion Industry three outdated beliefs about Design Patents, i.e.: (i) Design Patent applications take so long to process they aren’t useful by the time they issue; (ii) Design Patents are expensive; and (iii) Design Patents are difficult to enforce. This blog note will demonstrate why the three (3) preceding beliefs are no longer true, state three (3) up-to-date beliefs that are true, and end by encouraging use of Design Patents.

Here are three up-to-date truths about Design Patents:

Paris Hilton Has Another Lawsuit On Her Hands- Or Shall We Say “Wrist”

By Melanie Perez [December 1st, 2011] ADD A COMMENT

Paris Hilton

Some will say Paris Hilton is a trademark-licensing phenomenon by lending her name to a wide range of products from perfumes to shoes to her most recent endeavor-watches. However, this latest endeavor has become very problematic for the heiress. According to Perez Hilton, fine jewelry and watch designer de Grisogono has filed suit against Paris Hilton Entertainment alleging patent infringement of one of their watch designs. The particular watch has been sold by the company since 2007 and is named “Novantatre” which is Italian for “93” referring to the prominently seen “9” and “3” on the watch’s face. According to IPtrademarkattorney.com, de Grisogono applied for and was granted U.S. Patent Nos. D596,052 (“the ‘052 patent”) and D627,673 (“the ‘673 patent”) to protect their design. The ‘673 patent relates to the ornamental design of the watch dial, including the particular positioning of the “9” and “3” on the face of the watch. The ‘052 patent on the other hand, covers the square-shaped design of the watch. De Grisogono is accusing the Paris Hilton-branded “Coussin” watch of copying those same protected design elements that are covered by the two patents.

Ready or Not: 3-D Printing

By Tracy Weinstein [October 7th, 2013] ADD A COMMENT

3-D Printing Picture

Technology, technology, technology. It is all we hear and read about, and whether we like it or not, technology is rapidly altering the world around us. Some are completely intrigued by it and some begrudgingly adapt to it in fear of falling behind the rest of society. Now you are probably wondering what technology advancement has to do with fashion law, and on the surface it may seem that technology does not directly affect the fashion industry. However, technology developments such as 3-D printing do affect retail products in ways that lie deeper than the surface of the finished products.

Commerce Report Focuses on IP and US Economy

By Catherine Kim [June 6th, 2012] ADD A COMMENT

On April 11, 2012, the Department of Commerce released a report that focused on the broad range of industries that benefit from IP, both directly and indirectly. According to Law of Fashion, ‘the report will be used as a tool to help press for intellectual protections in trade negotiations and provide supporting data for the administration’s new International Trade Enforcement Agency, which could bring cases against countries where counterfeiting and digital piracy is rampant.” IP is a key component in our economic growth. It comes as no surprise that IP-intensive industries support the jobs of approximately 40 million workers because the impact of copyright, trademark, and patent protection is inevitably enormous. The Obama Administration’s focus on promoting innovation can trigger a successful, competitive, international market, and by enforcing and protecting IP rights, these IP related industries can continue to support these jobs and contribute to about $5 trillion to U.S. domestic product. The report summary stated, “Without this framework, the creators of intellectual property would tend to lose the economic fruits of their own work, thereby undermining the incentives to undertake the investments necessary to develop the IP in the first place.” Within our Case Clothesed blog, we have seen countless numbers of lawsuits in the fashion industry where creators of IP fight to protect their work so that others cannot benefit off a work that isn’t theirs.

The report identified some of the most IP-intensive industries that use copyright, trademark, and patent protections the most extensively. Electronic shopping & mail-order houses, footwear manufacturing, and clothing stores were among the top trademark-intensive industries with top 100 global brands in 2011. It is clear that the fashion industry thrives off of innovation and incentives to invent and create. While the fashion world is only a mere portion of the IP market, this report puts into perspective just how much IP protection affects commerce throughout the economy.

The full report can be found here.

War of the…Trade Secrets?

By Ariana Lo Giudice [March 26th, 2013] ADD A COMMENT

Burches

The four-month legal saga between fashion mogul Tory Burch and her ex-husband Christopher Burch ended in early January with settlement talks. Although we will not get a chance to see this fashion-inspired “war of the roses” play out in court, there is certainly a legal lesson or two to be learned from this battle of the brands.

Wave Goodbye to that Mark

By Tommas Balducci [March 19th, 2013] ADD A COMMENT

Lulugirlanddesign

In early January, Lululemon Athletica lost their appeal to the TTAB over the registration of the wave design shown below.

The TTAB, affirming the decision of the Examining Attorney, held that the wave design was merely an ornamental decoration and that the public would not perceive the applicant’s mark as an indicator of source. The TTAB stated that such a mark could only warrant trademark registration if the applicant could show the mark had inherent or acquired distinctiveness, or that the applicant has used or registered the design in a non-ornamental manner for other goods or services.

Polo Ralph Lauren Score Goal in Trademark Match Against the U.S. Polo Association

By Annie Lindenhovius [April 2nd, 2013] ADD A COMMENT

Polo Polo

For years, Polo Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Polo Association have been hooking mallets over the use of their polo player trademarks.

In 1984, the long battle between the U.S. Polo Association and Polo Ralph Lauren began. At the time, a Manhattan federal court granted the USPA permission to use the “double horseman” logo on their merchandise, as long as it would not cause consumer confusion. The USPA’s double jockey logo bears a marked resemblance to Ralph Lauren’s mounted polo player.

Lindsay “Lawsuit” Lohan

By Allison Tenenbaum [March 29th, 2013] ADD A COMMENT

Lohan

Remember that time Lindsay Lohan had trouble with the law?  Bet you’re thinking “which time?” Besides other stints with the law (she was sentenced to rehab on March 20, 2013 in order to avoid a six-month jail sentence), she recently filed a lawsuit against her clothing company, 6126. As sad as it is that she keeps having legal issues, it is nice to see Lindsay as a plaintiff, for a change.

Polo Ralph Lauren Score Goal in Trademark Match Against the U.S. Polo Association

By Annie Lindenhovius [April 2nd, 2013] ADD A COMMENT

Polo Polo

For years, Polo Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Polo Association have been hooking mallets over the use of their polo player trademarks.

In 1984, the long battle between the U.S. Polo Association and Polo Ralph Lauren began. At the time, a Manhattan federal court granted the USPA permission to use the “double horseman” logo on their merchandise, as long as it would not cause consumer confusion. The USPA’s double jockey logo bears a marked resemblance to Ralph Lauren’s mounted polo player.

Lindsay “Lawsuit” Lohan

By Allison Tenenbaum [March 29th, 2013] ADD A COMMENT

Lohan

Remember that time Lindsay Lohan had trouble with the law?  Bet you’re thinking “which time?” Besides other stints with the law (she was sentenced to rehab on March 20, 2013 in order to avoid a six-month jail sentence), she recently filed a lawsuit against her clothing company, 6126. As sad as it is that she keeps having legal issues, it is nice to see Lindsay as a plaintiff, for a change.