My unprintable musings on the "tentative ruling" in AbbVie v. Kitson (a/k/a the "Vicodin jerseys" case)
A reporter recently asked for my views on AbbVie v. Kitson (a/k/a the "Vicodin jerseys" case -- complaint available here, current docket available here), in which Judge Consuelo B. Marshall of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has issued a "tentative ruling" in favor of the plaintiff. You might recall that the pharmaceutical company AbbVie filed suit late last year to stop the sale of the shirt on the right:
My response to that reporter ended up being quite a bit longer and more theoretical than I had planned. Since there's no way the majority of that commentary will be printed, I've decided to post it here (in slightly modified form). Voilà:
Federal court: The term "Tiffany setting" might be generic, and the question is (probably) one for a jury (+ AmLaw gives me ink)
Yep, that sounds about right.
LAW OF FASHION sends a hearty "thank you" to Jan Wolfe, reporter at The Litigation Daily (an American Lawyer publication), for giving me some "told you so" props in his article, "Will Tiffany Regret Suing Costco?", which examines Judge Laura Swain's recent decision in the Tiffany v. Costco case.
An inauspicious start to the new year: Audemars Piguet v. Swiss Watch Int'l, 12 Civ. 5423 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 6, 2014)
It may be a Happy New Year for many, but not for Swiss Watch International, Inc. Earlier this week, Judge Harold Baer (he of the decisively pro-fair use decision in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, which happened to cite and quote an amicus brief filed by my firm) issued a troubling trade-dress ruling in favor of luxury timepiece purveyor Audemars Piguet. (Judge Baer's January 6th Opinion & Order in the watch litigation is embedded below and posted on Scribd.)
I'm pleased to break the silence at long last, but sorry, this isn't a news or commentary post -- at least, not directly. You can always get your fill of fashion-law news and analysis at the LAW OF FASHION LinkedIn group and the super-informative blog for The Center for the Study of Fashion, Law, and Society®. This post, however, is actually a source cited in my forthcoming piece for the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology Digest, entitled "The TTAB's Dangerous Dismissal of 'Doubt.'" (Hint: The essay has to do with this disaster.)
Rihanna forces Topshop to take a bow in "why is my face on your t-shirt" litigation before the UK High Court of Justice
In the relatively high-profile case of Robyn Rihanna Fenty v. Arcadia Group Brands (T/A Topshop),  EWHC 2310 (Ch), Rihanna has prevailed against Topshop before a division of the UK's High Court of Justice. The court's decision, embedded below, revisits issues that LAW OF FASHION has explored before (in particular, here, here, and here) -- albeit in the context of English rather than U.S. law.