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:
UPDATE: Photos, below, courtesy of Staci Riordan -- who live-tweeted portions of the event under #UVAFashionLaw -- and David Faux. Special thanks to Professor Dotan Oliar for moderating the morning panel, and to the editorial board of the Virginia Journal of Law & Technology for the invitation and hospitality!
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.)
As this writer, one Charles E. Colman, finishes up his Fall 2013 undergraduate course, "Fashion and Power" (having already wrapped up teaching responsibilities for the law school semester), he is well into the process of developing a syllabus for a new graduate-level course on fashion history and theory, to be offered in Spring 2014 through NYU's M.A. Program in "Visual Culture: Costume Studies."