After literally years of waiting, we've finally gotten a ruling from the Ninth Circuit in the (second) Omega v. Costco appeal...
The still-amorphous equitable defense is, however, addressed in the much more in-depth opinion concurring in the judgment (which, appropriately, calls out the other two judges on the panel for basing their ruling on a legal issue not even in dispute at this point in the litigation -- the so-called "first sale" doctrine -- rather than the "copyright misuse" question that was actually briefed and argued before the appellate court.)
Analysis and commentary forthcoming... (Sorry, it's a busy week; classes just started up again at NYU Law, and courses in other divisions of the university begin this coming Monday.) [UPDATE (2/6/15): You know, I think I'm just going to have to share my thoughts on the Omega decision at this February 19th panel/CLE co-hosted by NYU Law and The Copyright Society of the USA. Register ASAP!]
Chanel, fashion house, forces Chanel Jones, hairstylist, to settle by signing away rights to basically all public uses of name
"Consent judgments" (a/k/a "consent decrees") are very, very dangerous -- especially when wielded by a powerful corporation against a pro se defendant. The defendant in this case probably could have used some help, not only in drafting her (sort of heartbreaking) "Answer" to plaintiff's Complaint, but in negotiating more reasonable terms for the settlement agreement embodied in the Consent Judgment embedded below -- which, in its current form, essentially prevents her from using her name in commerce in any way, ever, under penalty of contempt of court, among other possible penalties.
By the way, consent decrees are probably unconstitutional. Just sayin'.
Interview for Washington Square News (NYU student newspaper) article, "Fashion, lawsuits an unexpected pair"
Washington Square News, NYU's Independent Student Newspaper, has published an article, "Fashion, lawsuits unexpected pair," in its November 5, 2014, issue. In the piece, staff reporter Sam Del Rowe interviews Barbara Kolsun (Stuart Weitzman GC, NYU adjunct prof, and co-editor (with FIT professor Guillermo Jimenez) of Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys -- to which I contributed a chapter on copyright law) about the current lay of the land.
Del Rowe goes on to ask this writer, one Charles Colman, about his views on life, law, and the pursuit of unlawful monopolies. He selects a portion of my answers to his questions, but -- for anyone who is interested -- I've copied my unedited responses to Del Rowe below (hyperlinks added):