Fashion and Apparel

Chambers USA 2018 Ranks Partners Lackman and Wolff as Top IP Attorneys; Recognizes Two Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) Practice Groups

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is delighted to announce that partners Eleanor M. Lackman and Nancy E. Wolff and both CDAS’s Entertainment and IP, Copyright and Litigation Practices have been recognized by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers USA 2018: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business guide.

Eleanor M. Lackman

Nancy E. Wolff

This is the fifth consecutive year Ms. Lackman and the second consecutive year Ms. Wolff have been ranked in the Chambers USA guide. They are both among just 41 New York lawyers ranked in the field of “Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets – New York.”

“Impressed sources” told Chambers that Ms. Lackman is “an absolutely incredible trademark litigator” and added: “She is very practical and always seems to make the right call.” She also has notable experience handling copyright matters, often advising clients across the media and entertainment industries.

Chambers describes Ms. Wolff as “very well-known and well-respected.” She receives plaudits for her expertise in a range of complex copyright matters and is highlighted for her particular skill across the photography and visual art industry.

CDAS’s Entertainment Practice was awarded a regional designation of “Noted Firm” in “Media & Entertainment: Film, Music, Television & Theater – New York” for the third consecutive year, while the Firm’s IP, Copyright and Litigation Practice received a  “Noted Firm” designation in “Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets – New York” for the second consecutive year.

The annual guide ranks law firms and lawyers based on in-depth interviews with clients and lawyers, technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by the client.

Fashion Brands Can’t Get a Royal Boost

In a rare precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) affirmed a refusal to register the trademark ROYAL KATE for use on cosmetics, handbags, bedding and apparel.  The Board found that this mark falsely suggests a connection with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and, more famously, wife of Prince William, and that it identified the Duchess without her consent.  The decision counsels fashion brands that the trademark office will not condone trading off of the fame of others, even when the mark sought is not such a person’s actual name. Continue reading

CDAS Partner Nancy Wolff’s Webinar Available Online

Recently, CDAS Partner Nancy Wolff hosted a webinar for the Digital Media Licensing Association which answered common questions about when you need releases when using visual images. The webinar is now available online for free, and is a useful resource for anyone publishing or displaying still or motion images and wondering whether permissions are needed from the subjects or property owners depicted in the content. The webinar footage can be found here.

New York Includes “Print And Runway Model” In Child Performers Protected By Labor Laws

A change to New York labor law regulations (Part 186) may have onerous implications for photographers and the stock photography industry who shoot child models  As of November 22, 2013, “print and runway” models are now included among the artistic or creative services that require a permit when using child performers. Previously, the regulations only applied to performers and entertainers in traditional entertainment endeavors and not still photography. The regulations do not define a “print or runway model” and it is possible that it could apply to all photographs offered for a commercial use, even if no money is exchanged. This change creates new restrictions and requirements on those who use models under the age of 18 which require preparation and planning to ensure compliance with the law.  Key components of the law are as follows. Continue reading

Tory Burch Sinks Fashion Pirates

District Court Grants TRO Based on Trademark and Cyberpiracy Claims

Luxury fashion brand Tory Burch scored a victory in the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division, as the court granted its motions for a temporary restraining order, domain name transfer order and other relief against a syndicate of Chinese counterfeiters selling counterfeit goods across the internet. The unnamed defendants were using hundreds of interactive websites and online marketplaces to sell low quality, fake Tory Burch products, in addition to using various tactics to conceal their identities. Continue reading

Trademark Law Basics, Part 1: Why Register a Trademark?

Welcome to the first part of the CDAS “Trademark Law Basics” series. Over the next month, CDAS attorneys will be explaining the legal and practical basics of trademarks on our IP, Media and Entertainment Law blog. We will also curate the entire series on the CDAS Trademark and Brands Practice Group page.

Just like your own name and face defines your personal identity, your trademark is your company’s identity. Trademarks are protected by U.S. federal law because they help consumers to recognize your products and services, and because they help business owners large and small to benefit from the customer goodwill they have worked hard to create. Continue reading

Louboutin v. Yves Saint Laurent: The High Stakes High Heels

Second Circuit Holds A Single Color Can Be A Fashion Trademark

On September 5, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent Am. Holding, Inc., No. 11-3303 (2d Cir. 2012), held that a single color can be used as a trademark in the fashion industry. The highly anticipated ruling is a significant victory for the fashion industry and ensures that French designer Christian Louboutin has a valid and enforceable trademark on his contrasting red-soled shoes. Continue reading

Ralph Lauren’s Famous Polo Player Put Back on his Horse

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Cancels Thread Pit, Inc.’s “Falling Rider” Trademark Registration Because Consumers were Likely to Confuse the Trademark with the Famous Polo Ralph Lauren Mark

Polo_Mark_and_Thread_Pit_Mark.jpg

The United States Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently put Ralph Lauren’s famous polo player back on his horse in granting the petition of PRL USA Holdings, Inc., a Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation subsidiary (“PRL”) to cancel the trademark registration of Thread Pit, Inc. (“Thread Pit”). Continue reading

Louis Vuitton’s ‘Hangover 2’ Case Knocked Off Without Giving Judge a Headache

A filmmaker’s rights under the First Amendment to use well-known trademarks for artistic and expressive purposes will be protected against a challenge from the trademark holder so long as the use has genuine relevance to the film’s storyline. On June 15, 2012 the District Court for the Southern District of New York, on a motion to dismiss, ordered Louis Vuitton’s lawyers to pack up their bags, dismissing the fashion company’s claim that a short scene in the Warner Bros’ film The Hangover Part II caused millions of dollars of damages to the company and confusion among its customers. Continue reading

Pinning Down the Copyright Issues in Pinterest

By Eleanor M. Lackman & Jennette Wiser

The newest trend in social media, with over 10 million members and drawing 11.7 million viewers each month according to comScore, is the virtual scrapbooking site Pinterest. Pinterest allows members to upload their favorite images from the Internet or their computers and share them immediately with other members. Continue reading