Archives: Fashion

Written by: Susan Neuberger Weller

Fabric design is a creative art form that has existed for thousands of years. Although the methods for creating such designs have evolved, the purpose and function of such designs has not changed as significantly.  Fabric designs are used for purely ornamental and decorative purposes, for purposes of identity, and also to convey information.  From an intellectual property standpoint, how a fabric design is used may dictate what type of protection it can claim. In addition, the time it takes to obtain each type of IP protection, its duration, and the procedures for enforcement may also dictate the type of protection to seek. Continue Reading It’s a Material IP World: Trademarks, Copyrights, Design Patents and Fabric Designs

My colleagues in our Litigation practice, Harvey Saferstein and Nada I. Shamonki, recently authored an alert “Another Shoe Drops in Washington: Ninth Circuit Expands Personal Jurisdiction over Willful Copyright Infringers”.

On December 17, in Washington Shoe Co. v. A-Z Sporting Goods, Inc., the Ninth Circuit expanded the exercise by Federal District Courts of personal jurisdiction over out-of-jurisdiction defendants in federal copyright cases. Building on the Supreme Court’s seminal 1945 decision in Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, the court explained how an Arkansas shoe retailer that had never done business in the state of Washington could nonetheless be subject to personal jurisdiction in that state.

To read the full alert please click here.

Written by Susan Neuberger Weller

The bill to extend intellectual property protection to the fashion industry, S. 3523, the substance of which we reported recently, has passed the US Senate Judiciary Committee without amendment. By voice vote on September 20, the bill passed with Senators Lee (R-Utah), Kyl (R-Ariz), Cornyn (R-Texas) and Coburn (R-Okla.) voting against the bill. Lee had offered an amendment to the bill proposing a loser-pays provision to prevent lawsuit abuse, but the amendment was defeated. As previously reported, bills have been introduced since, at least, 2006 trying to extend IP protection to the fashion industry without success. A bill similar to S. 3523 in the House of Representatives, H.R. 2511, awaits action. Participants in an American Bar Association panel discussion on March 29, 2012 expressed positions that IP protection of this type is unnecessary and undesirable, and others have expressed some doubt about whether protection of this type will ever be approved by Congress.

 Written by Susan Neuberger Weller

A few weeks ago, the Second Circuit’s ruling in the Louboutin decision made clear that color as a trademark can be protected in the fashion industry.  Recently, Lululemon has sued Calvin Klein for design patent infringement over the design of yoga pants. And just before Fashion Week in New York City, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer introduced Senate Bill 3523 entitled the “Innovative Design Protection Act of 2012” seeking to amend the US Copyright Act to extend protection to fashion design. Coincidence? Perhaps, but the fashion industry has been waiting a long time for this type of protection. Continue Reading S. 3523: Louboutin, Lululemon, and Fashion Design: Finally Getting Some Respect?

Written by Joseph M. DiCioccio

“Fashion is more usually a gentle progression of revisited ideas.” 
– British Fashion Designer Bruce Oldfield

Perhaps no other industry is more cognizant of the need to build upon and reinterpret prior work than the fashion industry. The idea that designs must constantly change and evolve several times a year with fresh and innovative new styles is a firmly entrenched concept and results in a mind-bogglingly large amount of new fashion designs every year. Yet, almost as soon as they are created, some designs seem to find their way into counterfeit shops and online auctions where they may or may not be passed off as the original. If they are, then the issue is a relatively straightforward one of enforcing established laws against trademark infringement.  However, what if the new design fully acknowledges is it not the original, but is merely a copy based on the original and does not use any protected trademark? Continue Reading H.R. 2511 Offers Legal Protections For Fashion Design