Latest Developments in Fashion Law

Illinois Federal Court Awards Coach $257 Million Dollars in Damages

November 2, 2012

Beginning in 2009, Coach began the daunting task of going after businesses that counterfeited and profited off of its established, famous leather and printed canvas bags and goods. In the process, Coach went after everyone, even online outlets to protect its trademark. Their efforts, however, are really starting to pay off!  Today, Coach announced that an Illinois Federal Court awarded the company $257 million dollars in damages, as well as the rights to 573 Internet domain names containing the word Coach and that sold counterfeit bags. Although the damages may never come back to the company, the ruling is a symbolic demonstration that the courts will enforce and protect companies efforts.

For more on this story click here

Natalie Laczek

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Lipstick and the Law: Lawsuit filed against Maybelline

Three women are decidedly tired of fading lipstick that was paid to last!  Carol Leebove, Wanda Santa and Denise Santiago are going up against make up giant, Maybelline in a complaint filed against Maybelline and L’Oreal (parent company) in the Southern District  Federal Court of New York, claiming that the company’s products Super Stay 14HR Lipstick and Super Stay 10HR Stain Gloss do not last as long as the company has advertised, and that consumers are ultimately being misled. The complaint also accuses Maybelline of breach of warranty and violating New York state’s consumer protection laws. The plaintiff’s are even asking the court for class-action status.

Lesson to be learned: women in this economy do not want their money being spent on products that fail to deliver! Let’s see where this case goes. Chicago Fashion Law Update will be monitoring this case as it further develops.

The case is filed under: Leebove et al v. Maybelline LLC, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-07146.

Natalie Laczek

Victory for Louboutin? 

The U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, ruled on September 5, 2012 that the Southern District of New York’s 2011 decision in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent conflicted with prior U.S. Supreme Court precedent established in the 1995 decision Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products. Thus, the Second Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court’s decision by determining that Louboutin’s trademarked red soled-shoes were a unique identifying symbol of the Louboutin brand which qualified under a category of limited secondary meaning and therefore limited protection. In turn the court restricted the trademark protection to only red soles which contrast with the remaining exterior color of the shoe, but not when the soles and the upper shoe are the same red color.

Here is an original link of the story featured in NY Mag reported by Charlotte Cowles:

http://nymag.com/thecut/2012/09/louboutin-won-his-appeal-against-ysls-red-soles.html

Natalie Laczek 

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