Fashion law roundup (Oct. 22-26, 2012): The most important and/or ridiculous fashion law news of the week
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"The Tokyo District Court on Friday quashed a demand by a former manager of Prada Japan that the firm pay her ¥58 million in damages for sexual harassment, ruling that telling her to lose weight wasn't so bad given that Prada is in the fashion business. 'It may be insensitive for the president to tell an employee (to lose weight), but considering the nature of Prada's business (and other factors), it cannot be recognized that it is bad enough to cause emotional distress worth compensation,' the court said…."
"According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Forever 21 clothing is being produced in 'sweatshop-like conditions' by workers in Los Angeles-area factories, the agency said in a press release on Thursday.... One big problem in California's garment factories is that employees are paid per piece they sew instead of per hour, which doesn't always yield a minimum wage, according to [the DOL's Priscilla] Garcia. Meanwhile, 'there's an ignorance of the law among retailers,' she said...."
"Adidas AG on Wednesday said a German judge in two weeks will lift a temporary injunction issued at the request of Nike Inc. that prevented the company from distributing its Primeknit running shoes. The German footwear and apparel brand is also taking the offensive, filing paperwork seeking to invalidate Nike's patent for its own Flyknit running shoes. The moves are the latest developments in a dispute between arch-rivals Nike (NYSE: NKE) and Adidas over which brand was the first to develop the technology behind their versions of lightweight knitted running shoes...."
"... Tory’s lawyer is asking for an additional eight days to prepare their answers and counterclaims to the suit, requesting a new deadline of November 1. When they do file, they plan to include some of their own claims against Chris and his company, including unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and a violation of intellectual property (or, in other words, the suspicious brand similarities between Tory Burch and Chris Burch’s C.Wonder)...."
"Here's an interesting opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (previously discussed here) concerning the inclusion of the word 'Paris' in marks for fashion-related goods. Below are some key excerpts from the full opinion, which is embedded at the bottom of this post...."
"Facebook's main source of revenue — its 'Sponsored' ads — has put it in the middle of a proposed class action lawsuit. An NFL merchandise retailer accused Facebook, its ad partner adSage, and a number of alleged knock-off goods sellers of false advertising in a complaint filed Monday...."
"[Contrary to Popular Belief,] Beyonce and Jay-Z's 'BLUE IVY CARTER' Trademark Still Has [A] Chance" (Re:Marks Blog)
"Media outlets have been buzzing over the purported denial of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s BLUE IVY CARTER trademark.... A number of reporters incorrectly state that Morales’ BLUE IVY registration has derailed any opportunity for Beyonce and Jay-Z to secure rights to, let alone a federal registration for, their BLUE IVY CARTER trademark. [S]uch an assertion demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of the highly specialized and nuanced area of trademark law...."
"... Legal papers say that in 2010, plaintiff Natalya Barsukova bought a set of earrings from a Burlington, Mass., Macy’s labeled 'fine gold' with a 14k quality mark.... After [putative class action representative Natalya] Barsukova took the earrings to a jeweler, she allegedly discovered they were sterling silver with a thin layer of gold. This would run contrary to the FTC Guides, which [may be legally relevant even though not directly enforceable by the public, and] prohibit use of the word gold for a product not composed entirely of 24k gold, the papers say...."
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