Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law

Fashion & Beauty Blog

Which Supreme Will Reign Supreme: "Legal Counterfeits" in China Published
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
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Supreme, the popular New York-based American streetwear brand, known by its iconic https://www.knobbe.com/attorneys/catherine-hollandlogo, was created by founder/CEO James Jebbia.  Despite its highly successful brand recognition, the company (which operates under the corporate entity Chapter 4 Corp.), has encountered difficulties in establishing its trademark rights overseas.  As Chapter 4 Corp. began to file applications to register its SUPREME trademark overseas, an unrelated company doing business as Supreme Italia, which was launched in 2015 by International Brand Firm (“IBF”), also began filing applications to register the SUPREME trademark in multiple countries.  IBF is a limited company in the UK which operates as a holding company that licenses the rights in the SUPREME trademark for use on garments and accessories sold in countries across the globe.

 

Misleading Ads are Not a Jeweler's Best Friend: The FTC's Crackdown on Diamond Ads Published
Friday, April 19, 2019
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It’s been 70 years since Carol Channing first sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” on Broadway, with Marilyn Monroe singing the more famous rendition four years later on the silver screen.  Around the same time as Monroe’s performance, a research group under the direction of General Electric created the first commercially successful synthetic diamond.  Fast forward several decades and there are now several methods by which “lab-created diamonds” or “synthetic diamonds,” as they are called in the industry, can be produced.

https://www.knobbe.com/attorneys/charlene-azema

Van Cleef & Arpels v. Nice Ice Fine Jewelers Published
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
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On January 30, 2019, the luxury jewelry suppliers Van Cleef & Arpels filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Nice Ice Fine Jewelers, LLC (“Defendant”). Van Cleef & Arpels’ complaint alleges trade dress infringement and unfair competition under the Lanham Act and related claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition under New York common law.

 

A Different Shade of Gray: The Scope and Limits of Gray Market Goods and Recent Developments in the Cosmetics Space Published
Monday, February 25, 2019
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Under the first sale doctrine, once a trademark owner first authorizes its branded product to be sold to a consumer, the trademark owner’s right to control the further re-sale of that product is generally said to be “exhausted”, so long as the product is not “materially different” from the origin

No Apologies: Nirvana v. Marc Jacobs Published
Friday, February 22, 2019
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On December 28, 2018, Nirvana LLC filed a lawsuit against designer Marc Jacobs in the Central District of California, alleging copyright and trademark infringement. Nirvana LLC is the legal entity which controls the band Nirvana’s financial, legal, and business affairs.  Nirvana LLC was formed in September 1997 by the band’s two surviving members, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, along with the Cobain Estate, controlled by Courtney Love. The lawsuit was triggered by Jacobs’ new “Bootleg Redux Grunge” Collection, and alleges infringement of Nirvana’s satirical smiley face design, created by Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain in 1991. The design was first introduced in 1992, and has since been licensed for use on numerous items, often appearing in yellow against a black background.

 

Skechers and Eliya Fight Over Shoe Design Patents Again Published
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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Eliya Inc., known for its BERNIE MEV® shoes, filed a declaratory judgment action against Skechers on January 29, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Skechers had sent a cease and desist letter to Eliya accusing Eliya of infringing on two of Skechers’ shoe design patents, U.S. Pat. No. D821,724 (the “ ‘724 patent”) and U.S. Pat. No. D810,412 (the “ ‘412 patent”):

 

Burlesque Designs for the Eye: Makeup Designs in Dispute Published
Friday, February 15, 2019
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On December 13, 2018, Face Lace Ltd., founded by makeup artist Phyllis Cohen to provide ready-to-wear makeup designs, filed suit in the Central District of California against Bare Escentuals Inc. d/b/a Buxom Cosmetics. Face Lace’s complaint alleged copyright infringement and trade dress infringement under the Lanham Act.

 

 

Saks & Calvin Klein Accused of Copyright and Patent Infringement Published
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
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On December 28, 2018, both Calvin Klein and the parent company of the department store Saks Fifth Avenue, were sued by Wongab Corporation in the U.S.

The Crown Jewels: How to Protect Your Jewelry Designs Published
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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Knock-offs and ‘copycat’ designs are nothing new to the fashion world.

Aloha, Copyright Infringement Published
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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On October 23, 2018, Rube P. Hoffman, a California textile manufacturer known for their Hawaiian prints and aloha shirts, filed a copyright infringement suit in the Central District of California against Zara USA, Inc., one of the world’s largest fast fashion retailers with over 2,000 stores worldwide. The copyright infringement claim is based on alleged similarities between two of the companies’ textile designs. In the complaint, Hoffman claims exclusive rights and ownership of U.S. copyright registrations over the two textile designs at issue, and further claims that they had never granted permission, license, or consent for Zara to use the designs. Hoffman also asserts claims for Unfair Competition under the Lanham Act and California law. Hoffman demands an end to any further production, distribution, or sale of the allegedly infringing designs; the delivery and destruction of all merchandise bearing the designs; damages; and legal fees.

 

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