The concept of 3D printing no longer needs an introduction. The sky is the limit when it comes to the possibilities 3D printing (often referred to as additive manufacturing) has to offer, both to consumers and businesses. The added value for and influence in the fashion and retail sector is undeniable, and many organizations consider welcoming 3D printing into their business model – whether acting as a 3D print shop, software provider, 3D printer or ink manufacturer, template developer, intermediary offering 3D printed products, product user or rights holder. As with any technological development however, there are legal considerations.
Reposted from Intellectual Property Magazine, September 2013
This article discusses how retail brand companies can protect their store layout, and provides effective tips for utilizing a unique store layout as a valuable asset and
By John Wilks and Charles Harvey
UK IP legislation is changing.
First, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (which received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013), has just been published, and modifies UK copyright law (though not as drastically as some would have liked).
Secondly, the Government announced in the Queen’s Speech that it will be introducing an Intellectual Property Bill to make changes to the law of design and patents.
Trade dress protection has existed for more than a hundred years in the United States, but for a long time took a back seat to patents, trademarks and copyrights in the intellectual property pantheon. Then came the US Supreme Court decisions in Two Pesos, Wal-Mart and Traffix Devices, raising the profile of trade dress and altering the public’s perceptions. In the 15 years since then, the number of applications filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking trade dress protection has increased dramatically, and so has litigation over trade dress claims. Because trade dress litigation is, in most cases, significantly cheaper than patent litigation, it may soon become a major competitor to patent litigation as a means of resolving disputes.
By John Wilks
This year’s conference of Marques, the European brand owners’ association, took place in the European Union’s most troubled and ancient capital, Athens, under the lamentably resonant strapline “Sign of the Times”. Among the many interesting topics shoe-horned under this banner, one theme seemed to keep resurfacing: the challenge of locating internet infringers.
This is by no means a new problem: IP infringers have for obvious reasons always sought to cover their tracks. But the advent and continuing expansion of the internet and social media have dramatically increased the scope for anonymous infringements from cyberspace. The impending arrival of over 1,000 new gTLDs- including many for common generic terms, threatens to further expand the possibility for anonymous infringement.
By: Radiance A. Walters (Washington, DC)
Red-soled stilettos for only $39.99? French luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin continues the fight to protect its iconic “Chinese red” soles. This past August, a U.S. federal district court denied a preliminary injunction against Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) and issued a decision that questioned the validity of Louboutin’s red-sole trademark. On October 17, 2011, Louboutin’s lawyers appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Shortly thereafter, premier jeweler Tiffany & Co. filed an amicus brief in support of Louboutin, furthering the fight to protect color as a trademark. The International Trademark Association (INTA) also filed an amicus brief on November 14, 2011 taking the position that the District Court erred in rejecting the U.S. presumption of validity attendant to Louboutin’s federal trademark registration. Further, INTA argues that the District Court incorrectly construed the Louboutin’s registration as a broad claim to the color red instead of the narrower claim to “lacquered red sole on footwear,” which is what the registration actually covers. The Court of Appeals is left with the daunting task of determining whether and when color may function as merely a design element versus a source-identifying trademark.
The Autumn Edition of Law à la Mode is now available online: click here to view the e-magazine.
With a Belgian editorial team for this edition, we wanted to give a flavour of an up and coming fashion capital in the heart of Europe. With a mix of cultures from Europe and beyond, Belgium is fast becoming a key location for new design and innovation in fashion. More than just moules, frites and beer, we are fortunate enough to have some of the most renowned fashion academies in Antwerp and Brussels generating internationally known designers such as Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Martin Margiela and Olivier Theyskens.
As Belgium is also the hub of EU policy development and creation, we share with you our thoughts on the trends around policy making – steering you through the agenda and potential activity (page 4).
Sustainability being the buzz word of the moment in relation to product development, we have an insight from our UK team on the interplay between the sustainability debate and the fashion industry (page 5).
Fashion designers and companies can seek to protect their jewelry and other accessory designs through copyright, trademark and/or design patent registrations. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents are separate and independent forms of law and protection; therefore, protection can be obtained in one or all of the three ways discussed in more detail below.
The fashion world may have received yet another stifling blow from the federal court’s decision in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America,