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Anything Your Heart Designs: Swarovski Hit with Copyright Infringement of Galatea’s “Two In One Heart” Design

On December 4, 2017 Galatea Jewelry (“Galatea” or “Plaintiff”) filed a copyright infringement suit in the District Court for the Central District of California against the well-known crystal jewelry producer and retailer...more

Is it Pretty? Will H&M Assert a “Classixx” Ornamental Defense to Claims of Trademark Infringement?

On October 19, 2017 Hush Hush Sound Inc, Michael David, and Tyler Blake (collectively “Plaintiffs”) also known as the Electronic dance music duo “Classixx” filed suit in the District Court for the Central District of...more

General Mills Finds Out That Yellow Is Not “Magically Delicious”: Brands Fighting To Protect Their True Colors

Years after the Christian Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent battle over red soled shoes, trademark protection for color continues to be a hot topic. On August 22, 2017, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) held that...more

Catching Counterfeits: Customs Recordation and IP Enforcement

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), the primary federal agency responsible for securing America’s borders, is also charged with the protection of intellectual property rights and guarding against the infringement of...more

Music Licensing Basics: How to Legally Use Someone’s Music in Your Business

Introduction - •Music copyrights: –Musical works – sheet music and lyrics •Author is generally composer/lyricist and controls •Can be administered through a music publisher - Please see full Presentation below...more

Puma Treads New Territory Hitting Forever 21 with Copyright Allegations after the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision

On March 31, 2017, Forever 21 was sued by Puma over its “Fenty” line of shoes. The “Fenty” label has become popular, in part, due to the influence of music artist, Rihanna as the label’s brand ambassador. In its complaint,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Says That Lines, Chevrons, and Colorful Shapes on Cheerleader Uniforms Are Copyrightable

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, issued their opinion on Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. The Court affirmed the 6th Circuit, holding that the lines, chevrons, and colorful shapes of Varsity’s...more

Chevrons, Stripes, Cheerleaders, and Copyright: The Supreme Court Issues Opinion in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

The U.S. Supreme Court issued their opinion on Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands on Wednesday, March 22. Should fashion designers rejoice or be fearful? That depends. Designers who repeatedly have original fashion designs...more

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’: Trade Dress and the Distinctive Look of a Boot Sole

Airwair, the owner of the Dr. Martens brand, recently launched a series of lawsuits in the Northern District of California to enforce the trade dress of its “iconic boots and shoes.” One lawsuit was filed in October against...more

Just Like You and Me: Difficulties with Celebrity Trademark Applications

Under U.S. trademark law, any person (including a celebrity) can obtain a trademark registration for their name if they can establish that the public recognizes the name as a source identifier for certain products or...more

Does Louis Vuitton Lack A Sense Of Humor? The Parody Defense Is No Laughing Matter For Brand Owners

On December 22, 2016, the Second Circuit gave tote bag manufacturer My Other Bag an early Christmas present by tossing out luxury giant Louis Vuitton’s claims of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and trademark...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

Some Like It Infringed? Monroe Estate Continues Intellectual Property Battles Despite Lack of Publicity Rights

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016 the estate of Marilyn Monroe filed a complaint in the Southern District of New York against Fashion Central. The Monroe Estate claims that Fashion Central infringes its intellectual property...more

Chevrons, Stripes, Cheerleaders, and Copyright: The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands

The closely watched case of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands was argued in front of the the Supreme Court on Monday, offering anxious fashion designers a glimpse into how the Justices may rule. ...more

#RIO, #SUPERBOWL, #FAIRUSE?

It’s Olympics time! And while most of the news has been about Zika and the conditions on the ground in Rio, brand owners know this as a time when the U.S. Olympic Committee is on the warpath sending notices and cease and...more

Getting The Deal Through - Trademarks 2016: United States

1. Ownership of marks - Who may apply? An application may be filed by any person or legal entity that uses or intends to use a mark in connection with goods sold or distributed, or services transacted, in United...more

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