Fashion retailers beware — that lovely textile sample catching your eye could contain a copyrighted design. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently awarded summary judgment against Defendants Urban Outfitters, Inc. (Urban Outfitters) and GMA Accessories, Inc. dba Capelli New York (Capelli) for infringement of copyrighted textile designs by producing and selling scarves containing two copyrighted star and stripe designs. MPD Accessories B.V. v. Urban Outfitters, Case 1:12-cv-06501-LTS-KNF.
Keds, LLC has filed suit against Vans, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts for trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, and breach of contract stemming from the two companies’ use of blue labels on the heels of their shoes.
Details of the Case
Keds owns two trademarks for the blue rectangular labels that it affixes to the heels of its shoes.
As part of a decade-long dispute in the World Trade Organization (WTO) involving US cotton subsidies, Brazil is again threatening significant trade retaliation against a wide variety of US goods and intellectual property rights. The proposed retaliation would substantially increase tariffs on US exports across various sectors and industries, and would suspend or restrict US intellectual property rights in Brazil. If enacted, the retaliatory measures could have a devastating impact on US businesses.
In the first contributory trademark infringement suit brought by Coach Inc. (Coach) to make it to the trial phase, Coach recently settled its lawsuit against Swap Shop, Inc. (Swap Shop), the owners of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida flea market, for $5.5 million.
Plaintiffs Cartier International, Montblanc-Simplo GmbH, Alfred Dunhill Ltd., Chloe SAS, Officine Panerai AG and Lange Uhren GmbH scored a win against e-commerce counterfeiting when US District Judge Gary Allen Feess issued a permanent injunction against a Pakistan-based e-commerce site company, Tradekey Pvt.
Bottega Veneta, one of the world’s premier fashion companies, recently won an important ruling regarding the scope of its trade dress rights at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Unlike many fashion companies that use the company name or well-known initials on their products to indicate source, Bottega’s leather goods use no such branding. Instead, Bottega’s purses, wallets, and related leather items, which can sell for upwards of $6,000 an item, often feature the company’s “signature” look, a box weave of slim strips of leather displayed at a 45 degree angle and covering all, or substantially all, of the product, as shown in the representative images at right.
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. Other notable applications include .beauty, .boutique, .buy, .design, .home, .life, .lifestyle, .living, .luxe, .luxury, .sale, .shoes, .shop, .shopping, .store, and .style. Finally, a handful of premier fashion brands opted to apply for the exclusive right to operate the gTLD matching their brand, including .cartier, .chanel, .gucci, .hermes, and .tiffany, and some department stores also choose to apply for their brands, such as .bloomingdales. Fashion and luxury brands must therefore consider the impact of this gTLD expansion on their business and decide how to proceed, both offensively and defensively.
AirWair International Ltd. (AirWair), maker of Dr. Martens® footwear, has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that CELS Enterprises, Inc. dba Chinese Laundry (Chinese Laundry) has infringed AirWair’s trade dress rights.
According to its complaint, AirWair has been making Dr. Martens boots since 1960. In 1984, AirWair began to sell boots in the United States featuring “yellow stitching in the welt area of the sole…and a two-tone grooved sole edge,” a fabric heal tab, and a horizontal grid pattern on the sole (the Dr. Martens Trade Dress). AirWair owns federal registrations for the Dr. Martens Trade Dress.
On September 11, Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. and Tommy Hilfiger Licensing LLC (Tommy Hilfiger) filed an action for declaratory judgment against Jumbo Bright Trading Limited (Jumbo Bright) in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Tommy Hilfiger has asked the court to find that its use of a vertical stripe pattern on the inside lining of its shoes does not violate Jumbo Bright's common law trademark.
Converse Inc. recently sued a competitor, Autonomie Project, Inc., for willfully infringing Converse’s famous Chuck Taylor All Star shoes. In the suit filed in federal court in Massachusetts, Converse accuses Autonomie of designing and selling its Ethletic line of shoes as flagrant imitations of Converse’s iconic line.
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