Christian Siriano vs. Former Licensee
In 2018, Christian Siriano, a darling of style reality series Project Runaway known for his elegant and daring evening dresses and cocktail dresses, was embroiled in a barbarous trademark and breach of contract dispute with his former licensee M&A Imports.
M&A Imports started the struggle as it sued Siriano to get $10 million for allegedly backing from their parties’ trademark licensing arrangement, which lent M&A Imports the best to manufacture economical fashions bearing the federally-registered trademark CHRISTIAN SIRIANO.
Siriano hit with a lawsuit of his own, asserting M&A Imports infringed his registered trademark as it allegedly utilized the CHRISTIAN SIRIANO trademark on non-quality styles that Siriano failed to accept, in violation of the parties’ arrangement.
Siriano alleged that M&A Imports’ violation gave Siriano the right to terminate the arrangement, and following the conclusion, M&A Imports continued to market unapproved dresses bearing his trademark.
All well-written trademark license arrangements contain what are known as “quality management” provisions. These terms are important to some trademark license arrangements since they protect the trademark owner’s reputation and the goodwill living in the owner’s trademark by specifying specific minimum standards that the licensee should follow, such as approvals from the licensor sample goods bearing the licensor’s trademark. For example, suppose a licensor doesn’t exercise adequate control over the quality of the goods or services bearing her trademark. In that case, the goodwill living in the brand can get tarnished, along the trademark can become vulnerable to assault or perhaps be deemed abandoned.
Fortunately, Siriano and M&A Imports settled their dispute, since the parties finally agreed to discount the trademark breach and the violation contract lawsuits, leaving Siriano to concentrate on designing exquisite dresses, such as this one portrayed below in Siriano’s specimen of use registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Paparazzi vs. Monse
Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia started Monse in 2015 to create clothing” that made girls seem as though it took five minutes to get ready” Now, Monse is a fan favourite among various celebrities, as exhibited by several paparazzi photographs of actresses such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lopez wearing Monse’s newest designs.
Jumping at the opportunity to tout its celebrity after, Monse got into trouble in 2019 after it chose to post a picture of Jennifer Lopez on its Instagram page wearing among its dresses.
Even though Jennifer Lopez did not appear to object, Carlos Vila, the photographer who shot the photograph, wasn’t pleased.
Vila filed a lawsuit against Monse before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging copyright infringement, in breach of their U.S. Copyright Act.
With a few exceptions, copyrights are usually owned by the men and women who create expression works. In the event of a photo, the photographer normally owns the copyright in the image. To openly exhibit a copy of the picture, one typically needs permission from the photographer. Following Vila’s complaint, Monse failed to consent, prompting Vila to document his complaint asking for statutory damages.
Statutory damages are cash damages that a jury or judge might award to a copyright owner in a copyright infringement suit under specific conditions. The sum awarded is based on statute (i.e., the Copyright Act), thus the title”statutory damages.” Generally, if a defendant willfully infringes registered copyright, the court could award statutory damages as high as $150,000 per infringed work.
If the plaintiff rejects or ignores the deal and later earns a decision less favourable than the offer, the defendant could regain its”prices” in the plaintiff. “Prices” generally contain smaller litigation costs, such as transcript fees, court reporter fees, and filing fees. While”prices” do not consist of large expenses such as lawyer’s fees, once the statute is relied upon by the plaintiff, decides”costs” as including lawyer’s fees, such as the Copyright Act. Thus, the plaintiff might be responsible for the defendant’s lawyer’s fees. Therefore, Rule 68 offers of judgment can be quite successful for defendants accused of copyright violation, particularly in cases where the jury or court are most likely to determine the plaintiff’s actual damages are modest or where there’s no evidence of willful breach that could raise the statutory compensation award.
Therefore, confronted with the chance of paying Monse’s lawyer’s fees in the litigation, it appears in the case docket which Vila approved Monse’s supply of judgment, and the court entered a judgment from Monse for $10,000.
Longchamp vs. Home Goods and Accessory Retailers
French-style company Longchamp is notorious for making a broad array of well-designed luxury accessories and clothes, such as its well-known “Le Pliage” bag, which bears a distinctive trapezoid shape, leather trim, and distinctive stitching.
The appearance and style of Le Pliage tote were enrolled before the P.T.O. into Longchamp’s parent company S.A.S. Jean Cassegrain at 2005 as a design patent.
In addition to protecting a designer’s name and logo, trademark law may also shield the plan and appearance (called the”trade dress”) of particular fashion goods, including purses (such as Hermès’ Birkin bag) and sneakers (such as Converse’s Chuck Taylor shoes ).
Trademark law may also shield fashion design components, such as prints and patterns (such as Burberry’s plaid print), identifying stitching (such as the U-shaped jean pocket stitching possessed by Authentic Religion/Guru Denim), and even colours (such as Christian Louboutin’s crimson bottom shoe bottoms ).
Trademark protection only goes to trend designs that are non-functional and also have attained a specific level of consumer recognition (known as”secondary meaning” or”acquired distinctiveness”). Thus, though Longchamp’s 2005 design patent was set to expire in 2020 (layout patents last for just 15 years), its trademark rights at the Le Pliage tote will endure for so long as it continues to use that layout in U.S. trade.
Longchamp alleged that Bed Bath & Beyond and Laila Rowe committed patent infringement and trademark infringement that supposedly caused Longchamp to shed sales over 1 million.
Naeem Khan vs. Clothing Retailer
Naeem Khan is among the favourite designers in NYFW. Kahn has dressed Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, well known for intricate and colourful designs and patterns.
While Khan was at the media for denying to groom the first woman Melania Trump, he also chose some heads to turn when he posted a message on Facebook accusing J. Crew of replicating among his apparel print patterns.
Designs and prints could be protected by copyright, and in certain cases, by trademark law. It does not appear that Khan took some action contrary to J. Crew, also according to his post, perhaps he chose to shoot J. Crew’s layout for a compliment.
Twitter Users Vs. Michae Kors
In 2019 NYFW, Kors debuted his spring and summer set, which comprised designs that reminded several of prints and designs which are connected with hoodies worn by Mexican and U.S. Latinx youth known as”jirgas” or”Baja coats .” Based on Chimayoweavers.com, jirgas are called an “old part of our tradition, dating back to the Spanish Colonial era.
It is an easy twill weave, either a plain twill or a diamond twill known as Ojo de perdiz. Historically, this is the utilitarian fabric of New Mexico, used to wrap up packages as you may use a tarp.”
Many Twitter users realized the layouts and weren’t pleased with Michael Kors’ utilization of their jirga prints and style from his runway show, accusing the designer of cultural appropriation.
Cultural appropriation is your co-opting of intellectual property, artistic expressions, traditional understanding of artefacts out of the other’s culture (normally a minority or indigenous group) without their input, consent, credit, or reimbursement.
Intellectual and cultural property appropriation in the fashion industry, traditional artistic expressions increase particular policy and legal concerns in intellectual property law enforcement.
Traditional cultural prints might be exclusively possessed by a particular business or community beneath U.S. copyright legislation (provided that they are original, inventive, and physically or conceptually separable by the operation of the article) or trademark law (as long as they are non-functional, identifying resource identifiers). Some states also have special regulations for the protection of traditional cultural expressions.
In the event of Michael Kors, since jirgas are proven to be worn largely by working-class youth in Mexico, with them on NYFW’s runway as large style, and supposedly without crediting the men and women who originated the layout, was regarded as a slap in the face to particular members of the Mexican and the Latinx communities.
Brand owners must use particular care when embracing prints, trademarks, product layouts, packaging, and marketing campaigns that may appear to signify a cultural expression. They ought to consider these problems as part of the intellectual property clearance processes and consult with legal counsel, particularly to significant layouts which might be part of a worldwide advertising campaign or runway show
FOR IMAGES AND AUTHENTICITY KINDLY REFER TO THESE ARTICLES-