During the pandemic, many fashion companies had a changing experience in intellectual property law enforcement in the areas of privacy and sustainability. Similarly, a lot of the apparel brands were found spending a lot of time in bankruptcy court, generally working out with landlords and lenders. 

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect in January 2020 and still continues to have implications. Whereas, the stimulus bill was passed by Congress in December stating changes to intellectual property law under the Trademark Modernization Act. The changes discussed under this law are made to simplify the challenges for the brands for bogus trademarks, and reinforce a central principle of U.S trademark law. 

We are highlighting some legal issues and cases faced by fashion companies and their lawyers tracking changes in their privacy, intellectual property legislation, defending trademarks and focusing on more sustainability. 

Tiffany & Co.’s trademark infringement suit against Costco over the warehouse retailer’s use of the term “Tiffany” in signage directing shoppers to its own engagement rings. This judgement given by the lower court was again reversed by the Second Circuit federal which hit Costco with a total of $21 million in damages.

Costco, on appeal, had stated in its argument that it was not using the term “Tiffany” to evoke the Tiffany & Co. brand, but it was using the term as a description of a particular type of ring setting. The appeal court recognizing that the term has a different, valid meaning beyond the name of the Tiffany brand is significant for fashion companies.

“Luxury brands referring to colour as part of their branding should also make sure they’re reinforcing their use of the wordmark in a distinctive way alongside the colour.”

Whiskey Jack Daniels is asking the U.S Supreme Court to hear the issue on “Bad Spaniels” dog toy that it argues infringes on its brand in the name of humour or parody. This dispute was highlighted in the year 2007 between Louis Vuitton and the making of the “Chewy Vuitton” dog toy.

The “Bad Spaniels” case was also in the limelight where popular and luxury brands frequently face parody defences”.


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