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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Breaking (Up) Bad: Watch-outs for Brand Owners Faced with Ex-Licensee's Trademark Use

A series of recent decisions have heightened the standard for obtaining preliminary injunctive relief for trademark infringement. This trend presents unique challenges for brand owners seeking to enjoin unauthorized “holdover” use of a trademark by former franchisees or licensees. This situation commonly arises when a franchisee or licensee continues using a franchisor or licensor’s trademarks following termination of a franchise or license agreement.
 
Under the test for preliminary injunctive relief in most jurisdictions, a plaintiff must establish:

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Converse Loses Its Midsole Amidst ITC Trademark Battle

What Made News?

Last month, the US International Trade Commission issued a decision invalidating a trademark for Converse’s iconic Chuck Taylor sneaker. Although Converse did win some of its claims, the ITC decision overall represents a potentially significant setback for Converse after the company took aggressive action to try to stop the sale of shoes that Converse claimed infringed its rights in the Chuck Taylor design. 

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Name That Circuit Split: Nominative Fair Use in the Second Circuit

In the recent case of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium v. Security University, LLC, the Second Circuit articulated its test for analyzing nominative fair use claims in trademark infringement cases. While we now know the Second Circuit’s test, the case also highlights a notable circuit split between the Ninth, Second, and Third Circuits regarding nominative fair use. As a result, companies intending to rely on a nominative fair use defense may have varying success depending on the jurisdiction.

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House of Cards Producer Sued over Trademark Licensing Dispute

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JC Penney Quickly Settles Suit With Burberry Over Alleged Counterfeit Check Pattern

A case filed by Burberry Ltd. earlier this year against JC Penney Corp Inc. in the Southern District of New York for trademark infringement, and related state and federal unfair competition claims over JC Penney’s use of a checkered pattern on coats appears to have quickly been resolved. Burberry Ltd. et al., v. J.C. Penney Corp. Inc., No. 1:16-cv-00982 (S.D.N.Y. 2016). In addition to state and federal trademark infringement, Burberry also asserted the more serious claims of trademark counterfeiting, which carries with it statutory penalties.
 

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Arent Fox Wins Lawsuit Protecting Diesel From Websites Selling Counterfeit Products

Washington, DC — Earlier this month, Arent Fox LLP secured a victory for Diesel S.p.A. after a federal court granted default judgement in a lawsuit the Italian clothing company filed against nine John Doe defendants operating 83 cybersquatting websites that sold counterfeit products appearing to carry the internationally recognized label.

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Testing “First Sale” Waters: Costco Faces Trademark Suit Over Sale of Fashion Swimwear Brand

Costco is defending a trademark infringement lawsuit over its sale of Anne Cole swimwear, an iconic line of women’s swimwear that has been sold in the US for over 30 years. The suit will likely turn on the scope of the “first sale” doctrine—which shields resellers of genuine trademarked products from liability for trademark infringement—and whether the manner in which Costco displays the products is likely to mislead consumers as to their source.
 

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Empire vs. EMPIRE: Fox Defends Its Hit Television Series Against Lanham Act Claims

What’s the News?

Twentieth Century Fox Television recently filed a motion for summary judgment in a dispute with record label Empire Distribution, Inc. over the name of Fox’s popular television series Empire. Empire Distribution has alleged that Fox’s use of “Empire” in the show’s title and on its soundtracks constitutes trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, but Fox claims that it is shielded from any such claims by the broad protection afforded to “expressive works” under the First Amendment.
 
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District Court Gives Go-Ahead to Marilyn Monroe’s Estate on False Endorsement Claim

District Court Addresses Trademark Attribution in Manufacturer-Licensee Dispute

Clients often ask whether—and, if so, when—they must use the ® and ™ symbols, or other forms of attribution, when using another company’s trademarks. This question arises in a variety of settings. For example, a company may want to use another’s trademark in order to make a comparative advertising claim, to state that its product is compatible with another company’s product, or to identify a business relationship with another company. The rules for the attribution of another’s trademarks are not cut and dry.

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ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP

Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.