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Impending Launch of .CLOTHING and Other Fashion-Related gTLDs: Is Your Company Prepared?

As you may have heard, we are on the verge of a vast expansion of the Internet. Currently, there are only about two dozen generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”), such as .com, .net, and .info. However, there will soon be more than 1,000 new gTLDs, many of which are relevant to companies in the fashion and luxury goods industries. For example, third parties have applied for the right to operate .clothing and .fashion as new gTLDs.

X Marks the Patent Infringement? Skechers Brings Suit to Protect Treasured Shoe Design

A recently filed court case demonstrates the ever-increasing competiveness of the fashion industry. Skechers U.S.A., Inc., alleged in its complaint that Perry Ellis International, Inc., and Shoe Confession LLC are selling a copied version of Skechers’ patented Skechers Go Run shoe. Skechers has filed suit against Perry Ellis and Shoe Confession, claiming patent infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition, and is seeking to force Perry Ellis and Shoe Confession to stop making and selling the allegedly infringing merchandise.

Marc Joseph Takes Aim at Clarks for Imitation Moccasin Design

On August 20, 2013, Marc Joseph NY, Inc. (Marc Joseph) filed an action before the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York against C. & J. Clark America, Inc. (Clarks) for trademark infringement and unfair competition of its “Cypress Hill” moccasin design.

Get Ready: SEC’s Conflict Mineral Reporting Deadline is Looming

Pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued final regulations on September 12, 2012 requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their use of “conflict minerals” in products they manufacture or have contract manufactured for them to proprietary specifications.

US and China Announce Results of First Joint Crackdown on Counterfeit Luxury Goods

Overcoming the challenges of fighting organized crime networks involved in industrial scale illicit trade and counterfeiting, international partnerships recently led to 6,000 arrests and the seizure of 24 million fake goods worth nearly $133 million US dollars during INTERPOL-led operations codenamed “Black Poseidon II” (Europe), “Etosha” (Africa), “Hurricane” (Asia), and “Pacific” (the Americas) in May and June. Seized goods included fake consumer electronics, DVDs, mobile phones, tobacco, and cooking oil.

Vans Loses Bid to Dismiss Dr. Martens’ Trade Dress Suit Based on Foreign Sales

Vans, Inc., the maker of Vans footwear, recently lost its attempt to dismiss a trademark infringement suit filed against it by AirWair International Ltd. AirWair alleged that Vans’ Gibson line of footwear infringes AirWair’s trademark and trade dress rights in its Dr. Martens line, causing a likelihood of confusion among US consumers.

Dolce & Gabbana in for No Easy Ride with Peter Fonda

The journey of Easy Rider is set to become less smooth. On July 16, 2013, Peter Fonda, co-star, co-producer, and co-writer of the iconic film, filed suit against Dolce & Gabbana in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles. He alleges that the company appropriated images of Mr. Fonda from the film, and used the Easy Rider logo without his permission. These images were printed on T-shirts advertised and sold by the company for $300.

Fashion Companies Respond to Bangladeshi Factory Concerns

Selecting where to source manufacturing of fashion goods is not dependent on price alone. Companies looking to source need to be aware of consumer perceptions when selecting a sourcing territory. Perception worries might not carry the same importance to all companies, but it is undeniable that businesses make decisions based on their clientele’s views on sourcing locations.

Distinctions in Clothing Play Key Role in ‘Kate Spade Saturday’ Trademark Dispute

Last month, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York denied injunctive relief to clothing designer and retailer Saturdays Surf LLC for trademark infringement asserted against Kate Spade LLC.1 Kate Spade filed the lawsuit against Saturdays Surf seeking a judgment that Kate Spade’s use of the trademark “Kate Spade Saturday” did not infringe upon the mark “Saturdays Surf NYC.” In response, Saturdays Surf filed a counterclaim alleging that Kate Spade Saturday infringed on its trademark rights.

BCBG Obtains Consent Judgment in Trade Dress Suit

On March 12, 2012, BCBG Max Azria Group, Inc. (BCBG) sued Stretta Moda, LLC (Stretta) for infringement, unfair competition, and dilution of its Herve Leger bandage dress design. Although Stretta filed an answer denying the allegations, the parties entered into a Stipulated Consent Judgment on April 23, 2013 enjoining Stretta from selling any garments that imitated BCBG’s trade dress and awarding $150,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.