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Skechers Pays Up in “Shape-Up” Class Actions

July marked the latest milestone in the years-long legal proceedings related to Skechers USA, Inc.’s marketing and sale of toning shoes. On July 11, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that an administrator mailed 509,175 checks to consumers who bought various shoes that Skechers marketed through allegedly deceptive advertisements. (See the FTC announcement here.)

Vans Loses Bid to Dismiss Dr. Martens’ Trade Dress Suit Based on Foreign Sales

Vans, Inc., the maker of Vans footwear, recently lost its attempt to dismiss a trademark infringement suit filed against it by AirWair International Ltd. AirWair alleged that Vans’ Gibson line of footwear infringes AirWair’s trademark and trade dress rights in its Dr. Martens line, causing a likelihood of confusion among US consumers.

Dolce & Gabbana in for No Easy Ride with Peter Fonda

The journey of Easy Rider is set to become less smooth. On July 16, 2013, Peter Fonda, co-star, co-producer, and co-writer of the iconic film, filed suit against Dolce & Gabbana in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles. He alleges that the company appropriated images of Mr. Fonda from the film, and used the Easy Rider logo without his permission. These images were printed on T-shirts advertised and sold by the company for $300.

Fashion Companies Respond to Bangladeshi Factory Concerns

Selecting where to source manufacturing of fashion goods is not dependent on price alone. Companies looking to source need to be aware of consumer perceptions when selecting a sourcing territory. Perception worries might not carry the same importance to all companies, but it is undeniable that businesses make decisions based on their clientele’s views on sourcing locations.

Distinctions in Clothing Play Key Role in ‘Kate Spade Saturday’ Trademark Dispute

Last month, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York denied injunctive relief to clothing designer and retailer Saturdays Surf LLC for trademark infringement asserted against Kate Spade LLC.1 Kate Spade filed the lawsuit against Saturdays Surf seeking a judgment that Kate Spade’s use of the trademark “Kate Spade Saturday” did not infringe upon the mark “Saturdays Surf NYC.” In response, Saturdays Surf filed a counterclaim alleging that Kate Spade Saturday infringed on its trademark rights.

Triple Tariff: Women’s Denim Manufactures Retaliatory EU Tariff on US-Made Denim

As experienced members of the fashion industry can attest, trade matters such as duties and taxes, and other regulations can have a huge impact on global sales and sourcing decisions. In an effort to resolve differences over trade practices and increase the already $1 trillion in annual trade, the United States and the European Union (EU) conducted free-trade agreement talks under the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) from July 9 to July 13, 2013 in Washington, DC.

BCBG Obtains Consent Judgment in Trade Dress Suit

On March 12, 2012, BCBG Max Azria Group, Inc. (BCBG) sued Stretta Moda, LLC (Stretta) for infringement, unfair competition, and dilution of its Herve Leger bandage dress design. Although Stretta filed an answer denying the allegations, the parties entered into a Stipulated Consent Judgment on April 23, 2013 enjoining Stretta from selling any garments that imitated BCBG’s trade dress and awarding $150,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Smart Search Concepts Files Patent-Infringement Lawsuits Against Fashion Retailers

On June 7–8, 2013, patent-licensing entity Smart Search Concepts LLC filed nine similar patent-infringement lawsuits targeting fashion retailers Gap, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom, among other defendants. According to the complaints, the fashion retailers infringe some or all of three patents directed to “on-the-fly” website searches. The accused websites allegedly infringe when their search tools combine keywords with menus to help users narrow product selections.

Fashion Counsel: The Legal Risks of Appearance-Based Hiring

Earlier this week, the dating website BeautifulPeople.com managed to grab international headlines after it launched a recruitment portal that provides employers with only “attractive” job applicants.

Steve Madden Settles TCPA Class Action for Up to $10 Million After Texting Customers

On May 7, 2013, the US District Court for the Central District of California granted final approval of Steven Madden, Ltd.’s settlement of a nationwide class action alleging that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending plaintiff and class members unsolicited text message (SMS) advertisements. The court-approved settlement includes the following key terms: