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.
New article: "Fashion, Sexism, and the United States Federal Judiciary" (to be published in the July 2013 issue of Vestoj (UK))
This short piece (which might serve as a springboard for a more in-depth article) is slated to run in the
July October 2013 issue of the British publication Vestoj: The Journal of Sartorial Matters. Here is the abstract/first paragraph of "Fashion, Sexism, and the United States Federal Judiciary":
The U.S. federal judiciary has frequently displayed a dismissive attitude toward "fashion," while simultaneously recognizing the great economic importance of clothing. As fashion was, from the formation of the United States until at least the late 1960s, associated primarily with the female sex, while judges during this time period were almost exclusively male, one naturally wonders whether the power dynamics of gender shaped the development of the law pertaining to fashion. There is good reason to believe that this has indeed been the case.
While I encourage you to buy the upcoming issue of Vestoj, you can download my article now at SSRN.
Why Alba Footwear should pick up where YSL left off in defending against Louboutin (PLUS: I'm officially on NYU Law's faculty!)
This writer, one Charles Colman, is happy to announce that he is now *officially* an Acting Assistant Professor at NYU Law School. The proof: my faculty profile, posted here. My firm, Charles Colman Law, PLLC, remains open for business.
In other news, the World IP Review has been kind enough to quote me in three different articles over the past month: