“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.
In January Burberry filed a complaint against a group of Chinese internet counterfeiters for use of 22 distinct types of goods bearing Burberry trademarks. Defendants, owners of websites such as yesburberryvision.com and buyburberry.com, not only failed to appear in court but they also failed to answer Burberry’s complaint resulting in an award of $100 million to Burberry as well as any money held by Paypal Inc. Burberry was also awarded a permanent injunction transfering ownership of the domain names to them allowing them to prevent others from doing business with the defendants.
According to WWD, François-Henri Pinault shot back today against accusations that his luxury group supports plagiarism at a press conference following the publication of PPR’s 2011 results. Pinault was addressing the accusations Louboutin made to French daily Libération, where Louboutin compared PPR to counterfeiters and claimed the group was trying to destroy his independent label. Pinault responded to the accusations by indicating his confidence that Yves Saint Laurent would win the right to continue selling shoes with red soles in the ongoing case against Christian Louboutin. According to the PPR chairman and chief executive officer, “We won the first proceedings in quite precise, clear terms and I am therefore very confident with regard to this case, even if I regret it, because these are two great houses and I think we have better things to do than to fight in court over a question of color.”
Bernard Belair, Brooklyn artist and photographer, has a had knack for creating “physically distorted women”, Boing Boing reports, and in the late 90s he registered his design which became popular with the Steve Maddan brand as an advertisement in Seventeen Magazine. That particular ad went on to inspire Margaret Leahy, a sculptor, used that advertisement as the basis for the beginning of Bratz dolls, a line of dolls with exaggerated features and proportions that are marketed to girls between the ages of 4-8. Read More
After eating the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie, many of us either passed out from a food-induced coma that we repeatedly promised ourselves we would never get to that point or we went to go stand in line for Black Friday deals. It is an annual tradition for Americans to look forward to (or dread) the deals of Black Friday. But those who wanted to avoid the massive crowds and chaotic lines were still able to find great deals online on Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday revealed some great deals for web surfers, but it revealed even greater deals for the Justice Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Federal law enforcement shut down several upon several websites selling counterfeit items and peddling counterfeit merchandise. This operation has been ongoing since June 2010, but because of the great sales that occur on Cyber Monday, the feds took this opportunity to crack down on online sites in an effort to fight the sale of counterfeit goods. They seized over 150 domain websites and then posted a public service announcement on those websites to warn the public about the economic impact of counterfeit products and copyright infringement. While the feds are working hard to shut down these websites who are tricking consumers into purchasing knockoffs, we can do our part by doing our research and ensuring that we are buying authentic products.
So how can you tell if a domain name is selling legitimate products? Here are some red flags you should look for:
- - If the price seems too good to be true. Do your research and see what other online websites are selling the product for.
- - If there is no “contact us” link or any way to directly reach the company.
- - Spelling and grammar errors on the website.
- - Check the domain name before you enter any credit card information.
According to Rolling Stone, the same day Rihanna released a provocative video for her new single “We Found Love,” she has reportedly settled a lawsuit with fashion photographer David LaChapelle over her “S&M” video. David LaChapelle alleged that Rihanna’s video was very similar in theme and style to eight of his previous photo shoots. This included her use of sexual poses, particular high-contrast lighting and kinky props that LaChapelle alleged were “directly derived” from his “Striped Face” editorial in 1995’s Vogue Italia and his 2002 “Latex” shoot. Earlier this year, LaChapelle filed suit against Rihanna and her label Def Jam asking for $1 million in damages. “I like RiRi,” LaChapelle said when he filed suit. “This is not personal, it’s strictly business. Musicians commonly pay to sample music or use someone’s beats and there should be no difference when sampling an artist’s visuals.”
According to LaChapelle’s initial claim, Rihanna asked her directors to create a “LaChapelle-esque video” for “S&M” and included prints of his photographs in a storyboard for the video. According to Photo District News, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held in a pre-trial ruling that LaChapelle had a plausible claim for infringement because the video appeared to copy the protectable elements of his images. This included factors that contributed to the originality or expression of the subject (as opposed to the idea and subject matter itself) such as the lighting, camera angles and wardrobe.
There is no doubt that Ralph Lauren has had a tremendous influence on American fashion. The New York Times reported that Al Roker, the weather anchor on the “Today” show on NBC, referred to Lauren as “America’s arbiter of taste and culture.” So how does the iconic designer continue to reinvent his classic and comfortable luxury brand?
According to him, “You copy. Forty-five years of copying, that’s why I’m here.”
Being the proud owner of a knockoff Chanel classic flag bag might seem innocent enough (and cause temporary delusions of wealth and relevance), but that small, synthetic object is a powerful symbol of the many counterfeit consumer products that sabotage designers and rob people of jobs around the world. As previously noted by Ella Brodskaya and Melissa Morales, representatives from the United States and seven other countries signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on October 1, 2011.
Although Kim Kardashian is constantly admired for her fashionable eye, it turns out she may be getting her ideas from other sources. Alexis Bittar is now joining the lineup of designers that have accused Kim of stealing their designs (Botkier has also previously claimed that the Kardashian Kollection at Sears included a handbag that looked almost identical to the designer’s “Clyde” bag.)
Alexis has previously lent Kim pieces of his collection to wear on the red carpet, and then suddenly similar designs have shown up in Kim’s jewelry line, Belle Noel. He says he won’t be suing, but definitely will not be letting Kim borrow any more of his jewelry.
The real question is if Alexis Bittar isn’t going to take this to court, or even talk to Kim about it, why is he making such a big deal out of it? (Alexis has been quoted saying “I haven’t talked to Kim about it; the truth is she might not even know.”)
CFDA/Swarovski Award winner, Alexis Bittar, has a bone to pick with Kim Kardashian. Although formal litigation has not ensued, Bittar told Alexa, the fashion magazine of The New York Post, that he suspects that Kardashian has been copying his jewelry designs for her own jewelry collection, Belle Noel. He tells Alexa,
“In the reality TV world, there are so many people coming out with lines to capitalize on their TV shows. They are not designers and they are just stealing. I passed the Dash pop up store on Broadway, and I saw that Kim’s pieces were very similar to mine, and she definitely has been taking note (of my designs).”