In trademark law, the tacking doctrine allows an existing trademark owner to modify its mark without abandoning ownership of the original trademark. The key to allowing the modification without abandonment or loss of priority is continuity. In other words, the mark must retain a common element that symbolizes a continuing commercial impression.
A business owner in Elkorn, Nebraska recently won a trademark battle against Limited Brands giant Victoria’s Secret. Beka Doolittle, owner of the online business “The Pink Store” has been going up against Victoria’s Secret this past year over use of the word “pink”. One of the notable brands of Victoria’s Secret is it’s Pink line that caters to young women. Ms. Doolittle’s online business carries items for all ages and items for the home, all themed as (you guessed it) pink. After Victoria’s Secret submitted a petition to cancel her mark on the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) , Ms. Doolittle enlisted help in order to fight back, and it paid off. Victoria’s Secret finally backed off and cancelled their petition, but with no clear reason.
Lush is a beauty brand that produces products from fresh organic fruit and vegetables. Their products such as makeup, soap, and face wash are not animal tested and are made fresh by hand with little or no preservative. Lush brand chose not to sell their products on Amazon but when customers searched “lush” into the search bar, similar beauty products sold by Lush appeared in the results.
At the 25th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), intellectual property rights were emphasized with a focus on trade secrets. Trade secrets have been a core concern among foreign companies in China. Lack of enforcement has been attributed to things like China’s limited experience with trade secret cases and reluctance on the part of the local governments to take on complex cases because of the time and resources involved.
Recently, the United States Department of Labor found more than 1500 garment workers in California were owed over $3 million in unpaid wages based on a year-long survey. The Department of Labor found that suppliers directly related to Nasty Gal, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and JC Penney, and others, paid its workers below the minimum wage while also subjecting them to sweatshop-like conditions.
Long gone are the days of teflon, when you could slap a chemical coating on something to make it repel water and other materials. Non-Stick is no longer the way to go with repelling products. Nowadays, there are some products that have to repel water and other buildup. So scientists looked at natural repellants like duck feathers, insect wings, and super repellents like the leaves of the lotus plant. When a product is omniphobic it will resist oil and other liquids from saturating the object.
Just when we thought the holiday season could not arrive any sooner, companies have already geared up for holiday shopping. Starbucks has begun promoting its holiday red cup and seasonal flavors, while the Wall Street Journal has set up a “Christmas Sale Tracker” that updates every hour to help readers monitor prices for the “hottest gifts.” As consumers prepare to buy gifts, they typically are looking for popular items at the lowest price. Michael Kors, however, is not planning on offering any promotion deals.
A growing number of shoppers are being tricked into purchasing counterfeit designer goods. Counterfeiters often use websites to mislead shoppers. Reports estimate that counterfeit websites receive more than 53 million visits per year.
One of fashion’s newest trends is the utilization of 3D printing technology to produce custom made clothing, footwear, and jewelry. This is just one of the innovative ways that fashion designers have been changing the face of the fashion market. Martje Dijkstra, is a distinguishing Dutch fashion designer that incorporates 3D technology into her pieces in some groundbreaking ways.
Italian luxury fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been caught in a fresh legal bind, this time over their brand’s t-shirts sold by American fashion retailer Nordstrom, also a defendant. The shirts, which were priced at up to $295 apiece, have since been removed from sale on Nordstrom’s website. Actor Peter Fonda is suing for at least $6 million in compensation, claiming that the iconic images of himself in the classic 1969 film, “Easy Rider”, were used without his permission. Movie stills of Fonda on a motorcycle and the movie’s title in its original font are emblazoned on the t-shir
Intellectual property is a vital necessity for the success of any product or company. Whether protection in trademark, patent, copyright, or trade secret, individuals or corporations need to ensure that their branding and unique designs will not be diluted by counterfeiters or copycats. The fashion industry especially has struggled with the issue of intellectual property as the Court views clothing as more for functional purposes than a distinguished product. Changes in the U.S. patent law provide great opportunity for fashion designers to protect their designs not only in the United States, but also all over the world.
A study published by Boston University in 2012 found that over $29 billion of direct costs were generated by patent troll patent assertions. Further, it is estimated that these costs ballooned to over $80 billion, once the stock market reacts to such litigation. “Patent trolls,” or Non-practicing entities (NPEs), can be either a company or individual who essentially purchases patents, but has no intention to develop and market a product arising from that patent.
The rumors about Alexander Wang’s collaboration with H&M have been proven to be true. Wang’s designer collaboration with H&M has been available in stores since November 6th. Wang is the tenth high fashion designer who H&M had collaborated with.
Trademark law has developed tremendously over time, thanks in huge part to the thriving field of technology. What was once a law dedicated generally to what people see, has now become a law dedicated also to what we hear. Just think about it. When you’re sitting on your couch at home watching TV and you hear, “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful”, you almost already know that this is a Cover Girl commercial. Or think about when you’re riding in your car listening to the radio, and you hear, “Ba Da Ba Ba Baaahhh, I’m Lovin’ It”, you automatically know that it’s a McDonald’s commercial. Increasingly, trademark law has not only come to protect words that you see as images, but words as you hear as slogans too.
New York Fashion Week has been running into quite some trouble these past couple years. Back in spring of 2013, iconic designers such as Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg and Vera Wang left the Lincoln Center venue for New York Fashion Week. Now a recent settlement orders New York Fashion Week to move from the Lincoln Center after its February 2015 show.