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WWD Names Arent Fox a Top Retail Practice

Arent Fox’s Fashion Law group was recommended as one of the best retail practices in the country by WWD, which encouraged retailers to call on the firm’s attorneys when faced with issues that threaten their bottom line.  

Supreme Court Clarifies Availability of Copyright for Applied Art on Apparel

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., et al, No 15-866, clarifying that the Copyright Act protects applied artistic elements appearing on utilitarian objects, including apparel.

Breaking (Up) Bad: Watch-outs for Brand Owners Faced with Ex-Licensee's Trademark Use

A series of recent decisions have heightened the standard for obtaining preliminary injunctive relief for trademark infringement. This trend presents unique challenges for brand owners seeking to enjoin unauthorized “holdover” use of a trademark by former franchisees or licensees. This situation commonly arises when a franchisee or licensee continues using a franchisor or licensor’s trademarks following termination of a franchise or license agreement.   Under the test for preliminary injunctive relief in most jurisdictions, a plaintiff must establish:

Defend Trade Secrets Act Creates Need to Revise Employee Contracts Governing Use of Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

Fashion companies deal with trade secrets and other confidential information all the time. Whether it is proprietary information regarding customers, pricing, sourcing, product design or manufacturing methods, this valuable intellectual property provides a competitive edge in the market by virtue of the fact that it is not generally known.

Arent Fox Speaks to New Fashion Designers on Setting Up Their Brands

On April 26, 2016—The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) invited Anthony Lupo, chair of Arent Fox's fashion law practice, to give students and alumni a presentation about the specific legal and business challenges that designers and retailers of fashion and luxury products face in an increasi

House of Cards Producer Sued over Trademark Licensing Dispute

What’s the News? The producer of popular Netflix television series “House of Cards” has been sued in federal court on claims of trademark infringement for its use of the trademark HOUSE OF CARDS. See D2 Holdings LLC v. MRC II Distribution Co., L.P., et al. 1:16CV10453 (D. Mass. March 3, 2016). The plaintiff, D2 Holdings LLC, and its predecessor-in-interest have owned a federal registration for HOUSE OF CARDS since 2007, years before the popular political drama of the same name aired in 2013. While defendant MRC II Distribution Company L.P.

JC Penney Quickly Settles Suit With Burberry Over Alleged Counterfeit Check Pattern

A case filed by Burberry Ltd. earlier this year against JC Penney Corp Inc. in the Southern District of New York for trademark infringement, and related state and federal unfair competition claims over JC Penney’s use of a checkered pattern on coats appears to have quickly been resolved. Burberry Ltd. et al., v. J.C. Penney Corp. Inc., No. 1:16-cv-00982 (S.D.N.Y. 2016). In addition to state and federal trademark infringement, Burberry also asserted the more serious claims of trademark counterfeiting, which carries with it statutory penalties.  

Arent Fox Wins Lawsuit Protecting Diesel From Websites Selling Counterfeit Products

Washington, DC — Earlier this month, Arent Fox LLP secured a victory for Diesel S.p.A. after a federal court granted default judgement in a lawsuit the Italian clothing company filed against nine John Doe defendants operating 83 cybersquatting websites that sold counterfeit products appearing to carry the internationally recognized label.

Testing “First Sale” Waters: Costco Faces Trademark Suit Over Sale of Fashion Swimwear Brand

Costco is defending a trademark infringement lawsuit over its sale of Anne Cole swimwear, an iconic line of women’s swimwear that has been sold in the US for over 30 years. The suit will likely turn on the scope of the “first sale” doctrine—which shields resellers of genuine trademarked products from liability for trademark infringement—and whether the manner in which Costco displays the products is likely to mislead consumers as to their source.  

Empire vs. EMPIRE: Fox Defends Its Hit Television Series Against Lanham Act Claims

What’s the News? Twentieth Century Fox Television recently filed a motion for summary judgment in a dispute with record label Empire Distribution, Inc. over the name of Fox’s popular television series Empire. Empire Distribution has alleged that Fox’s use of “Empire” in the show’s title and on its soundtracks constitutes trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, but Fox claims that it is shielded from any such claims by the broad protection afforded to “expressive works” under the First Amendment.