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
Dr Martens, the footwear and clothing brand that defined my teens, is launching an initial public offering (IPO) which could value the company at £3.7 billion! The company is currently majority owned by Permira (the UK private equity firm). One reason behind this high valuation is that it is a fashion brand that truly recognises the value of its IP (even if it famously once failed to secure the copyright in its logo - see below!).* It sells 11 million pairs of boots and shoes
Mr Justice Miles’s judgment in Lyle & Scott Limited v American Eagle Outfitters, Inc is an important decision for international fashion brands. The two companies use very similar eagle logos (pictured) for clothing that is sold through similar marketplaces in the UK and internationally. Lyle & Scott (L&S) is a long-standing British high-end fashion brand. It historically made golf clothes but by 2019 around half of its sales were polo shirts and T-shirts which are sold throu
Are arbitration clauses a good idea? This post is not going to resolve this longstanding debate but it will highlight some of the intended (and unintended) consequences of an arbitration clause. The use of arbitration clauses in trade mark coexistence agreements was recently considered by the UK's IP Enterprise Court (IPEC) in Lifestyle Equities CV & Anor v Hornby Street (MCR) Ltd & Ors. Lifestyle Equities owns six EUTMs and one UKTM (post Brexit that is 7 UKTMs) for BEVERLEY
A case regarding “ballet flats” is likely the last time in which a UK court will sit as a Community Design Court, and the judgment was handed down expeditiously given the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. The case involved registered Community designs (RCDs) and unregistered Community designs (UCDs), and issues of both validity and infringement. Deputy High Court Judge David Stone found: both the registered and unregistered design to be valid as they pr
You take a famous car company with a well known trade mark, say Ferrari, and decide that you can get an entirely new revenue stream licensing this mark for use on FMCG products such as clothing. It is a roaring success! Competitors look at this success and think - great idea! Let's copy it... but not all of them clear their rights first. The following is a cautionary tale in more ways than one. I was in charge of this case from its start until well into the disclosure phase.
Bentley Clothing v Bentley Motors  EWHC 2925 is a classic David v Goliath dispute. You have a small family owned business versus a multinational corporation - Bentley Motors is part of Volkswagen. This case is a helpful reminder for large brand holders everywhere that establishing a reputation and a trade mark portfolio in relation to some goods and services does not give you an automatic right to enter into new markets where there are earlier rightsholders (no matter t
Fashion technology is not just about wearables. It includes the major innovations in textiles such as Tencel and Gore-Tex. One of the big issues with fashion tech is its sustainability and recyclability. It is hard enough to persuade people to recycle a woolly jumper but if it is embedded with LEDs it may not be possible to recycle at all. The EU has a strict regulatory regime around electrical items which set recycling and recovery targets as well as limitations on the mater