Marc Jacobs v SIXTY-SIX websites
Marc Jacobs v SIXTY-SIX websites
Yes, you read correctly. Marc Jacobs is suing 66 websites for trademark infringement and counterfeiting schemes. Websites such as marcbymarcjacobsinc.com, tobevogue.com and one that accepts payment in the Bitcoin digital currency, bitcoinfashion.net are accused of using the Marc Jacobs trademark without consent and selling counterfeit goods under the Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs labels!
(Whilst its being sued (by Adidas, see post below), they are suing!)
The complaint was filed earlier this month in Florida and Marc Jacobs has asked for the defendants' infringing actions to be halted and for damages of $2 million for each Marc Jacobs trademark infringed!
As stated in my previous post, the prominent issue with infringement claims is whether or not the consumer will be confused as to the source of the goods. If confusion is made out, then Marc Jacobs will have a high chance of being successful, by also stating that the infringment has caused erosion to the goodwill of the Marc Jacobs brand. But getting $2 million from each defendant will most likely be unattainable (but who knows how the judges will sway?). He will probably get a large lump sum to reflect the going rate for damages in counterfeiting schemes.
For further information, the case is Marc Jacobs Trademarks LLC v 4buywatches.com (plus the 55 other defendants!)
We'll see how this one unfolds...
Adidas v Marc Jacobs
Iconic Adidas (left). Marc Jacob sweater (right)
Last week, German sportswear powerhouse, Adidas, filed a lawsuit against Marc Jacobs (by way of Marc by Marc Jacobs) for trademark infringement of their famous 'three-stripes' trademark. The iconic stripes are how we all identify an Adidas garment, right? Well, Adidas is claiming that Marc Jacobs is using this popularity and recognition to sell their four-striped Peyton French Terry sweatshirts.
Now, for Adidas to be successful with their trademark infringement claim, they will need to prove that consumers will be CONFUSED as to the source of the allegedly infringing designs. As there are many retailers that stock both Adidas and Mark Jacobs (overlapping channels of trade- i.e. Bloomingdale's), this fact will be in favour of Adidas's claim if they can show that an ordinary (not a fashion or sportswear expert) would be confused and think that the Marc Jacob garments are designed by Adidas.
Further, Adidas claims that damage has already been made to their goodwill, because the quality of Marc Jacobs' garments do not meet their standard. Adidas have stated, "...by causing a likelihood of confusion, mistake and deception, Marc Jacobs is inflicting irreparable harm on the goodwill symbolised by the Three-Stripe Mark and the reputation for quality that it embodies." Adidas mean business!
So much so that they have requested a jury trial and want Marc Jacobs to immediately and permanently cease all sales, distribution and marketing of the allegedly infringing garments. As well as deliver the garments to Adidas so they can be destroyed and to pay them damages!!
Oh, Adidas is also claiming against Marc Jacobs for Unfair Competition, Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices, and Trademark Dilution (US Law)!!!
Stay tuned for the verdict...
Got to Give it Up v. Blurred Lines
Okay granted, this case is not about fashion, but as a Media & Entertainment Law student, I feel obliged to share recent developments in that area of law too.
I am sure you heard about the verdict in the high profile case against the Gaye family and the 'Blurred Lines' trio? Well, the judge ordered the 'Blurred Lines' singers and songwriters to pay the Gaye family a whopping $7.4 million in damages for copyright infringement against Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit single, 'Got to Give it Up'.
There is no doubt that Pharrell and Thicke were inspired by Gaye, which they have admitted freely. But this verdict raises more questions than answers. Like, where does it leave singer/songwriters in the future, who are influenced and inspired by the childhood favourites, and inadvertently, subconsciously, include their style of music in their own work?!
Undoubtedly, there will be an appeal as this verdict arguably is too stringent and could possible open the floodgates of artists claiming other artists have copied them, if the copyright hasn't expired!
Have a listen here of a mash up of the songs. Personally, I think they sound similar but still quite distinctive in their own rights.
What do you think?
Superdry wins copyright case against Animal
Superdry on the left, Animal on the right. VERY similar right?
Beginning in 2013, the case centered on the infringement of specific design features of the Superdry gilet- which included a detachable grey jersey hood and a storm flap that sits over the buttons. Superdry (DKH Retail) claimed that Animal (H Young) had breach UK and EU design infringment laws by replicating their design and stealing their IP rights with their version of the gilet.
The judge agreed with Superdry as he stated the specific designs when designed (in 2009) were not commonplace, and it was clear that Animal had been influenced by Superdry's designed- to which they admitted!
Superdry were awarded the legal fees and damages from Animal.
Do you wear Superdry and/or Animal? Would you have noticed the similarities?
Rihanna wins legal battle with Topshop over image rights
Do you remember that vest top Topshop sold in their stores with the image of Rihanna (from her 'We found Love' music video) on it? Well, they didn't have Rihanna's permission to do so and she took them to court over it! That was two years ago, and she was successful with her claim and won damages. However Topshop was not having it and took the case to the Court of Appeal, this year, where they argued that there was a difference between "the endorsement of a product and character merchandising". However, Topshop failed to win over the Court of Appeal judges and the judgment from the High Court was not dismissed. The judges claimed that the sale of Topshop t-shirt amounted to passing off.
Preston v. Banks
|Tyra Banks Angelea Preston|
As a avid watcher and fan of all the America's Next Top Model (ANTM) cycles, I thought this would be a great place to start!
In the 'all-star' cycle of ANTM (cycle 17), Angelea Preston miraculously disappeared in the final episode, before the winner was announced. Tyra Banks, as amazing and fabulous as she is, failed to give an adequate reason as to why she was no longer a contestant. I thought (and was hoping) that she would win. Many did. I even used Google to find out why she was disqualified- nothing. Now, years later, Preston has brought a claim against Banks and the ANTM team for damages* for numerous reasons, which include breach of contract; breach of oral agreement; and failure to provide meals and rest breaks!
From reading reports, Angelea actually had won the show but had then been disqualified because she was previously an escort. Angelea is contesting the disqualification and is asking for $3million as she was deprived from the prize package which included a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl cosmetics and a magazine fashion spread.
Click here to see a copy of the case issued by the court.
I am looking forward to seeing how this case unfolds...
America's Next Top Model Cycle 17, All Stars contestants.
Angelea's CoverGirl campaign.
*damages is a sum of money in which the law imposes for a breach of a duty or a violation of a right.
So I have decided to start writing about FASHION LAW!
Well, for many reasons. Here is a few:
I am a law graduate and currently at law school studying the Legal Practice Course. I am a future lawyer.
I LOVE fashion and all its intricacies- I blog and buy clothes all the time!
And I thought, why not combine my two passions and share with you all the latest, behind the scenes, that goes on in the fashion world?!
For a long time now, I have had a strong interest in fashion law and I hope from these posts that you too find the law side of fashion interesting!!