Fashion Counsel with Anthony V. Lupo

Arent Fox's fashion law blog offers news, analysis, and insights for the industry from fashion attorney Anthony Lupo.

Fashion Counsel with Anthony V. Lupo

Trademark

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MPD Accessories Wins Copyright Battle Over Textile Designs Against Urban Outfitters

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.

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Keds Sues Vans for Treading on Its Trademarks

What Happened?

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.

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Brazil Threatens Trade Retaliation Against US Exports and IP Rights in Long-Standing Cotton Case

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.

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Another Victory for Coach’s Operation Turnlock: Swap Shop Settles Contributory Infringement Counterfeit Case

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.

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Cartier and Other Luxury Brands Win Against E-Commerce Counterfeiting

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.

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Fashion House Bottega Veneta Scores Big Win at TTAB

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.

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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. 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.

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Someone Call a Doctor: Dr. Martens Files Suit Against Chinese Laundry for Trade Dress Infringement

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.

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Tommy Hilfiger Seeks Declaratory Judgment for use of Stripes in Footwear

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.

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Converse Accuses ‘Fair Trade’ and ‘Eco-friendly’ Competitor of Infringement

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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