In short, "yes". Cybersquatters are a growing threat to brands. This trend has accelerated as e-commerce grows and consumers spend more time online. A new report suggests that cyber-squatters are cannier and more cunning than you might imagine. For brand owners, resolving domain name issues and filing defensive registrations eats up considerable time and effort. But as many have found to their cost, ignoring cybersquatting can lead to consumer confusion, loss of sales, fraud
The Court of Appeal has reviewed the law on liability and account of profits in a judgment concerning the BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB trade mark (Lifestyle Equities C.V. & Anor v Ahmed & Anor  EWCA Civ 675). The case is one of many that are winding their way through the courts concerning this brand. In this litigation, the judge at first instance found that the use of SANTA MONICA POLO CLUB infringed the BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB mark and devices, and also found passing off.
With IP worth 75% of a business’ value why do less than 13% of businesses have IP insurance?
It’s fascinating to read the insurance industry’s perspective on this phenomenon: Protecting Intellectual Property in the new world order. I find insurance (& third party funding) essential in many disputes. In most cases, this is "After the Event" or ATE insurance.
Matthew Hogg and Edward Cartwright's article makes a great point that many people forget: you may assume that you have
When is an online marketplace “targeting” consumers in a particular jurisdiction? This was the question that Mr Justice Michael Green wrestled with in his judgment in Lifestyle Equities CV & Anor v Amazon UK Services Ld & Ors  EWHC 118 (Ch). The case involved trade mark infringement and passing off claims brought against Amazon regarding the sale of goods bearing the Beverly Hills Polo Club trade marks on amazon.com. The claimants are familiar faces in the English High
It’s a sad consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns in many countries that retailers have lost business, and regrettably some have gone into administration. But one thing that’s been notable in many cases is that the brands have proved attractive to buyers, even when the rest of the business has not. For example, Marks & Spencer recently bought the Jaeger fashion brand for an undisclosed fee after the company went into administration. It did not acquire any of t
The long-lasting litigation over the authorship of the screenplay for the 2016 film “Florence Foster Jenkins” has resulted in the court finding that Julia Kogan (the Claimant) was a co-author of the screenplay with the contribution valued at 20%. Mr Justice Meade’s decision came following a retrial after an earlier judgment was overturned by the Court of Appeal. This is an unusual decision which reflects a changing approach toward defining artistic contribution. Ms Kogan was
A new employee joins a business. They have lots of new ideas and suggestions. Sounds great but might you be at risk? To put it another way, where is the line between creativity and confidentiality? Travel Counsellors Ltd v Trailfinders Ltd There was a rare Court of Appeal judgment on confidential information on 19 January 2021. The Court upheld a decision from the English IP Enterprise Court (IPEC) in a dispute between travel agent Trailfinders Ltd ("Trailfinders") and its co
We first wrote about the impact of Brexit over a year ago back in a pre pandemic era. Although we still don't have a deal. The outcomes outlined in that post are likely to apply from 1 January 2020 (i.e. the end of the Brexit transition period). It is no longer possible to file an EU mark and get it registered before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). Therefore all new EU trade mark filings will need to be filed separately in the UK if trade mark rights in t
Some luxury brands still choose to not operate an online presence. Whether this is sustainable in the long term is unclear. Regardless of company strategy, you need to protect your brand online irrespective of whether you choose to operate online. The Luxury Law Summit included a fascinating panel discussion between Luna Bianchi (IP Counsel at Ermenegildo Zegna), Peter Ratcliffe (Manager of PIPCU, part of City of London police which investigates online crime in England and Wa
The Luxury Law Summit looked at many business and legal issues but one of the great themes across the day was collaboration. Many thousands of dollars are regularly awarded in cases based on profiling or exclusion. It's not just about doing the right, thing, there's a compelling business case for taking inclusion seriously explained Christopher Lacy (Parsons). Christopher explained that luxury often falls short of true inclusivity and neglects key demographics which are impor
The new Platform to Business Regulation (P2B regulation) applies across the EU from 12 July 2020. This Regulation is part of the EU's Digital Single Market Strategy. As the EU press release explains, the P2B Regulation is the first-ever set of rules creating a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for smaller businesses and traders on online platforms. The Regulation is intended to create a fairer balance between online platforms and online search engines. It
Scott Gilen (Director of IP Enforcement Global at Apple) spoke at the Luxury Law Summit about how his team stops Apple fakes (both digital and physical) around the world. Understandably, their primary focus is on counterfeits that could be harmful to consumers such as fake iPhones, parts and accessories. Fake Apple stores remain a problem around the world (particularly in China). They have everything from the T-shirts to the tables! The issues that Scott has to deal with go b
Georgina McManus (Global GC at Manolo Blahnik) and Ashleigh Hegarty (GC and Privacy Officer at Charlotte Tilbury) spoke to Kate Wilkinson (Head of Group Legal at Mulberry) about the issues they have faced in negotiating the new normal. All three incredible women have clearly had a busy year. They demonstrated how they have successfully adapted and helped their respective businesses reshape and regroup so that they remain on the path toward success. How did they survive the pa
Inevitably the pandemic took centre stage at the Luxury Law Summit (3 September 2020) but thankfully it was not the only issue in the spotlight. Harrods' pandemic experience The keynote speaker was Michael Ward, the Managing Director of Harrods. He talked about the impact on the business and the difficult decisions that they have had to take in order to get the business ready for the changes over the next 1-2 years. One of the first issues was the impact of the redundancies.
Here is another guest post from Marta Carmona (Master of Advocacy at the University of Málaga) Smart fabrics are textiles which include technology embedded into their fibres thanks to the development of extremely thin smart materials. The inclusion of those materials gives wearables an increased functionality and therefore an incentive for buyers to pay more for the wearable and, in theory, wear it more and for a longer period, which ultimately would increase the sustainabili
It is common for business priorities to change and relationships to improve or sour over time. At some point you will want to end a distribution agreement, franchise or agency agreement. Ending a contract is not always that straightforward... The first step is to look at what the contract itself says - this is not always as simple as it may appear and legal help may be required to identify the correct steps to follow. However, this is not the end of the process. There are man
Fashion and technology have long been on a collision course and, like so much, the pandemic has accelerated things in a dramatic and life altering way. It’s no secret that the fashion sector has been particularly badly hit by Covid. The saving grace for many brands has been the investment that it has made in the digital and technology business. It’s fair to say that businesses with a strong ecommerce offering have fared much better than the competition - particularly if they
When you start a new fashion business, there are lots of competing interests for your time. You want to get finance to pay for stock and staff. But you also need to start marketing and build your social media profile. Before long, you will need to start thinking about hiring your first employee. So many things to do and so little time! Each question has legal consequences which it is good to understand in advance... One of the first things you will need to think about is wher
Lawyers help you grow your business. If you approach legal services in the right way, you can have a strong strategic alliance which grows with you. Here are some handy hints on how to instruct a lawyer: Don’t delay - burying your head in the sand leads to a more expensive legal bill. It may also mean that some legal options are lost forever. Get to know them - share your business vision and plans with your lawyer. It helps them give you the best strategic advice. Find the
Franchising, licensing, distribution or agency relationships can help you break into new markets or diversify into new products. It's common for fashion brands to diversify from clothing and footwear into perfumes, sunglasses and cosmetics but different products have different methods of manufacture and routes to market. Each of these options relies on a solid contract which is easy to understand and enforce. There are two fundamental keys to making these arrangements a succe