Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law

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Enforcing a Non-Compete Agreement? – One Size Does Not Fit All

December 10, 2018 Alexander D. Zeng and Mark Kachner

Two high-end, off-price fashion brands are duking it out over an employee jumping ship from Century 21 Department Stores, LLC to Rue Gilt Groupe.  On November 5, 2018, Century 21 sued Rue Gilt Groupe and Berenice Arcuri in New York state court. The suit is to enforce, amongst other things, Arcuri’s post-employment non-compete and confidentiality obligations to Century 21.  Though the suit was filed in New York, there is no allegation what state law governs the non-compete.  Resolution of this issue will have a significant impact on the case.


Nike's Shoe Patents Outrun Puma's Challenge

December 5, 2018 Brian M.Z. Reece and Nicole R. Townes

On May 3, 2018, Nike filed a lawsuit against Puma in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts accusing Puma of infringing seven of its utility patents related to footwear.  In an earlier post on this blog, we described some of the Nike shoe patents asserted.  Puma challenged Nike’s complaint and moved to dismiss Nike’s claims of alleged infringement as to two of the patents, specifically as to U.S. Patent No. 8,266,749 and No. 9,078,488, arguing that these two patents, which are directed to Nike’s “Flyknit®” technology, do not cover patentable subject matter.


Modern Meadow: Patenting Lab-Grown Leather

November 27, 2018 Bryan J. Johnson, Loni Morrow and Peter Law

In 2017, New Jersey based biotech startup Modern Meadow launched Zoa™, which is inspired by leather and is the company’s first brand of biofabricated materials.  Zoa™, a name derived from the Greek term for life, zoi, will feature products created with Modern Meadow’s proprietary technology.  According to the Zoa website, Modern Meadow’s first generation of materials have “the ability to be any density, hold to any mold, create any shape, take on any texture, combine with any other material and be any size.” 


Federal Circuit Weighs In on Converse's Midsole Trade Dress

November 27, 2018 Shuchen Gong and Jeff Van Hoosear

On October 30, 2018, the Federal Circuit weighed in on Converse’s Chuck Taylor trade dress infringement lawsuit. As reported in If the IP Fits, Wear It: IP Protection For Footwear – a U.S. Perspective, Converse filed over 30 lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in October of 2014, alleging trademark infringement of its famous Chuck Taylor designs by Fila, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, and Aldo, among others. Some of the district court cases settled in a few months, while others lasted over two years.



November 21, 2018 Vicki Y. Nee and Jeff Van Hoosear

On October 19, 2018 plaintiffs CAR-FRESHNER Corporation (“CFC”) and Julius Sämann Ltd (“JSL”) filed suit against Balenciaga America, Inc. for alleged trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and unfair competition, under the Lanham Act and corresponding New York state law. Plaintiffs claim exclusive trademark rights in the LITTLE TREES air fresheners design in connection with a variety of goods, including key rings. 

Beyoncé vs. Feyoncé: Am I Totally Diluted, or Should I Put a Ring on It?

October 26, 2018

In April 2016, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (known mononymously as “Beyoncé”) filed a trademark suit in the Southern District of New York against Feyonce, Inc., an online business that sells clothing, apparel, and assorted goods with the mark FEYONCÉ and certain phrases from Beyoncé’s songs. In the complaint, Beyoncé asserted trademark infringement and dilution, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment, and she sought a permanent injunction against Feyonce, Inc.’s further use of the allegedly infringing mark. In November 2017, Beyoncé filed a Partial Motion for Summary Judgment and entry of a permanent injunction against Feyonce, Inc. Her motion was denied by Judge Alison Nathan in October 2018.

7-Eleven Finds Homage to Slurpee Drinks Hard to Swallow

October 25, 2018

On September 10, 2018, the international convenience store chain 7-Eleven filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas against Perry Ellis Menswear, LLC d/b/a (“Defendant”). 7-Eleven’s complaint alleges trademark infringement, dilution, unfair competition, counterfeiting, and unjust enrichment under the Lanham Act as well as trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution, and unjust enrichment under Texas state law.

Fashion Week Precautions & IP Misconceptions

October 12, 2018 Loni Morrow and Jason J. Jardine

Fashion Week San Diego is this weekend—one of the few fashion shows open to the fashion industry and the general public!  Fashion shows are exhilarating.  As an intellectual property (“IP”) attorney, however, fashion shows are also nerve-racking.  Fashion shows mean designers are showing their designs publicly.  Some designs are brand new, never-been-seen-before lines.  And to make sure the designs are protected to the maximum extent possible, it is essential to take certain steps with your IP attorney before they are disclosed publicly.


Damaged Hair Care Products: The Root of the Problem

September 25, 2018 Shuchen Gong and Nicole R. Townes

On September 7, 2018, Olaplex, LLC and LIQWD, INC. (collectively, “Olaplex”) filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Verbena Products, LLC d/b/a BEAUTYVICE and Robert Roque (collectively “Beautyvice”) based on Beautyvice’s sales of Olaplex hair care products.  Olaplex alleges that the products sold by Beautyvice do not bear certain codes that Olaplex includes on its products.


Loves me not: Wholesale Jewelry, Inc. Hit with Infringement of Cartier Trademarks and LOVE Collection Trade Dress

August 29, 2018 Chanell Khosrowabadi and Peter Law

On July 18, 2018 the well-known luxury goods company, Cartier International AG and Cartier, a division of Richemont North America Inc. (collectively, “Cartier” or “Plaintiffs”) filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Wholesale Jewelry, Inc. d/b/a Diamond Source (“Defendant”). Plaintiffs’ claims include federal counterfeiting, trademark and trade dress infringement, unfair competition, dilution, and similar claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition under New York common law.



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