Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 12, 2012 04:13 PM
Executives at Christian Louboutin are likely seeing red after losing a court battle against Zara over a pair of $70 red-soled shoes.
Louboutin took Zara to court in 2008 and won when the shoes hit the market saying that it alone had the rights to produce and sell red-soled shoes, but an appeals court in France has ruled in favor of Zara and is telling Louboutin it also has to fork over £2,500, or about $3,600, according to New York magazine.
That isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, of course, but it’s an extra little face-rub in the mud for Louboutin, which has been on the warpath against counterfeiters of its signature red-soled shoes.
The ruling also doesn’t bode well for a bigger Louboutin appeal, against Yves Saint Laurent, in a case that the brand lost last summer in New York.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 4, 2012 02:56 PM
One trick of the high-school set when writing what they believe to be a ridiculously long paper is to just change the margins. Push things in a little and it makes it that much easier to achieve the required number of pages. Some never leave this little trick behind. A judge in Manhattan, Paul A. Engelmayer, who is hearing a trademark suit involving Gap Inc.'s flagship Gap brand, requires that all documents put before him be double spaced. But lawyers represent the mega-retailer have been accused of adjusting the spacing in such a way that they achieved “four extra lines per page,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
The lawyers in question work at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC and they are working on a case about “a trademark dispute involving T-shirts labeled with the phrase ‘Lower East Side’ and ‘LES NYC,’” the Journal notes. Their adversaries, the legal team at Patterson Belknap Webb Tyler LLP, took a recent brief sent by Gap lawyers and “used a computer program to determine that the line spacing on Fross Zelnick’s reply brief was ‘1.75’ instead of double spaced.” Because of this, the judge allowed Patterson Belknap to “file a 30-page, instead of 25-page, brief on Thursday” so that the two sides would be given equal space to express themselves.
As for the suit itself, it was filed by New York-based designer Robert Lopez of LES Clothing Co, who has quite a track record taking on big brands.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 3, 2012 02:07 PM
For more than a decade, Vermont artist Bo Muller-Moore has been making t-shirts that urge folks to “eat more kale” instead of, oh, fast food.
He’s received a lot of free publicity and an uptick in sales in recent months thanks to the legal eagles at Chick-fil-A who have been trying to get him to stop using the phrase after he filed for a trademark. The chain feels his t-shirt slogan is too close to its trademarked “Eat mor chikin” slogan (misspelled as a cow might spell it — if a cow could write signs begging fast food restaurant brands to serve another species' meat).
While plenty of folks have had a chuckle or two over the legal kerfuffle, it’s anything but funny to the food chain’s lawyers, who filed a complaint last week with the Trademark office that consumers may think the two messages are coming from the same place, according to Vermont's Burlington Free Press.
A day later, the Trademark office announced that it agreed with Chick-fil-A that "Eat more kale" is too close to "Eat more chikin," and now Muller-Moore has six months to respond or the rejection of this trademark request will become permanent.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 2, 2012 10:01 AM
The Beatles may not have played together since their famous rooftop concert in January of 1969 for the Let It Be album but their legal team continues to battle on. Back in those crazy early days of Beatlemania, you could get pretty much anything Beatles: Beatles wigs, Beatles boots, Beatles toys, Beatles buttons, Beatles lunchboxes, Beatles Beatles Beatles!
Nowadays, though, it’s pretty much impossible to find the name Beatles on anything that hasn’t been put through the machinery of the band’s legal team at Apple Corps, Ltd. That team just marked a success in a case that has been dragging on since 2004 when a court decided it wasn’t cool for a Dutch manufacturer to churn out, um, Beatles wheelchair, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (OK, so only two members of the band are still around and the younger one, Paul McCartney, is 69. You don’t have to rub it in.)Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 29, 2012 10:05 AM
Two days ago we reported that the mother of Florida teen shooting victim Trayvon Martin had applied to trademark terms related to his name, which was picked up by Yahoo and other outlets. In that report, we specifically took the position that the move was a "smart" move by a grieving mother to protect her son's name.
Now, another trademark application proves how wise Martin's mom was. And yet, did she make a mistake by not beefing up her trademark application?Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on March 26, 2012 09:11 PM
As if there wasn't enough animosity, misinformation and outrage to go around in the Trayvon Martin case, now the dead boy's mother is moving to trademark her son's name.
According to the Associated Press,
(A)n attorney for Martin's mother confirmed that she filed trademark applications for two slogans containing her son's name: "Justice for Trayvon" and "I Am Trayvon." The applications said the trademarks could be used for such things as DVDs and CDs. The trademark attorney, Kimra Major-Morris, said in an email that Fulton wants to protect intellectual property rights for "projects that will assist other families who experience similar tragedies." Asked if Fulton had any profit motive, the attorney replied: "None."
Some might argue that the trademark applications have nothing to do with innocence, guilt, or the character of the grieving family; this is just how things are done in America now and those looking for ulterior motives probably understand outrage more than trademark law.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 27, 2012 10:39 AM
While Kobe Bryant just passed Michael Jordan's All-Star scoring mark, it won't diminish Jordan's stature or legacy. When most people think of Jordan, they think of his six championships with the Chicago Bulls, his five NBA MVP awards, and his leaping image that’s been immortalized by Nike as Jordan Brand.
Many today think of Jordan and see dollar signs around one of the biggest sports brands and athletes of all time. Inevitably, that leads to legal tussles to protect the Jordan cash cow. That's why the represent the majority owner of the worst team in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats, has sued Chinese sportswear and shoe manufacturer Qiaodan Sports for wrongful use of his trademark.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 3, 2012 03:53 PM
The main character of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series may not be a little passive sometimes, but his creator isn’t going to take any guff from anybody, particularly someone that he thinks is ripping him off.
Wimpy Kid, Inc., which owns the rights to the series that has sold more than 52 million books just in North America, last month filed suit against a comic-book publisher, Antarctic Press, which puts out the Diary of a Zombie Kid graphic novel title, according to Reuters.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, the suit contends that Antarctic stepped all over Wimpy’s trademark in various ways. The suit says that “Zombie Kid” is “deceptively similar” to the “Wimpy Kid” series and "obviously intended to confuse the public into believing that defendant's books are addition to such series," Reuters reports.
The covers of the two books have many similarities, including "distinctive striping along the spine, the hand-drawn pictures of the main character on the front and back covers, both illustrated so as to appear to be taped at each corner of the cover, and the miniature illustration of a male child's head located on the side of the book," the suit notes.Continue reading...