Fashion Law CLE


A panel discussion, “Culture Counsel: The Legal Ethics of Intellectual Property and Inspiration.”  Private viewing of Zevs’ solo exhibition, Traffics in Icons, at De Buck Gallery.

DATE:         Wednesday, October 23, 2013
TIME:         6:30 pm reception and viewing of exhibition, 7 – 8:15 pm panel
PLACE:        DeBuck Gallery, 545 W. 23d StreetNYS CLE:     1.5 hours (ethics & professionalism; transitional and non-transitional)
Register now:  Attorneys ($75)

Click here to register!

Fashionably yours,
Danalee Francesca

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Gucci vs. Guess…The Battle of the G’s

Who is going to prove who’s more gangsta.  Fashion companies seem to always be at war where trademarks are concerned.  So, who will prevail as the biggest G?  I predict Guess.  If you look at some of the patterns of these cases, the underdog always wins.  The one that is accused of the infringing seems to come out as the victor when major Fashion companies are involved.  This suit was filed three years ago and has only recently went to trial.  Gucci accuses Guess of using their famous logo and designs causing confusion among consumers and of course dilution of the brand.

Reports: Victoria’s Secret Garments Made by ‘Undernourished Children Who Were Beaten With Branches’

Reports: Victoria’s Secret Garments Made by ‘Undernourished Children Who Were Beaten With Branches’.

Child Labor issues have come in to play when companies such as Victoria Secret manufacture goods overseas.  A notable case was the Kathie Lee Gifford brand sold at Wal-Mart.  The National Labor Committee directed a campaign against the brand in 1996.  Since then many companies have developed compliance/monitoring programs to prevent the exploitation of children and prevent unfair labor.

Companies take several steps to ensure transparency about the conditions and the standards of labor in these factories.  Some have collaborated with NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) to ensure transparency of their compliance programs and assist in implementing these programs.  U.S. Organizations such as Fair Labor Association, Social Accountability International , Business for Social Responsibility, and Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production offer assistance in developing compliance programs, collaborating with members within these organizations as well as accrediting the programs.

In this instance it seems that a 2008 report was produced by the National Federation of Burkina Cotton Producers stating that thousands of children were made to work at these Cotton Farms used by VS.  VS claims they never knew about this.  If this is true, then VS needs to take a deeper look at their auditing/monitoring and enforcement programs.      I’m going to go out on a limb and say that VS probably does have a code of conduct compliance department, most likely headed by legal.  However, perhaps protocols weren’t set in place or executed properly ie working with internal and external monitors to get the proper information about what was going on at these farms.

Work this out Vicky!  Perhaps read the reports assembled by your collaborators.


A classic and entertaining movie by Alfred Hitchcock.  Grace Kelly is beautiful and of course graceful and that handsome Cary Grant.  Can we all get a cat like that or at the very least an honest John Robie, watch the movie to follow my cheeky dialogue.  The iconic fifties dresses and style is seared into my memory.  Much like the movie, to catch a thief in the fashion world can prove to be near impossible, but with persistence it can happen.

John Robie, named the “Cat” in his burglary days, was being copied and framed.  He is finally vindicated when the  impersonator is caught.  However, in the fashion world when designs are copied not many impersonators are found or for that matter pursued. I speak not for the bigger designers like DVF that are able to go after most of their infringers.  I speak of the independent up and coming designers that don’t have the means of constant monitoring of their designs and/or trademarks.

However, there are a few inexpensive ways you can prevent the Cat from stealing your vision:

1) Google Alerts:  Set up alerts with Google to stay abreast on your industry.  Additionally, these alerts can tell you if other companies have set-up websites using your company name.

2)USPTO:  You can check the Trademark Office’s database in order to see what trademarks have been filed.  However, if your trademark is registered before the Cat it should be rejected based on the similarity marks and the likelihood of confusion.  If your trademark is governed by common-law you can still challenge the validity of the registered trademark if you can prove that your use was of trademark was in the public domain before the infringer.

3) Cease & Desist:  If you are unable to retain a full-time attorney, you can still consult with one to draft a cease & desist letter for you.  You can definitely draft a cease & desist letter on your own behalf, but perhaps the weight of legal representation may get the matter resolved quicker.

4)Policing E-Commerce Sites:  To prevent and limit the sale of counterfeit goods you can check sites like E-Bay, Amazon, Alibaba and Google.

5)Social Networking:  Create company’s official website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Ning accounts to avoid confusion.

With the basic tools in hand you can catch your thief!

The materials contained on this website are designed to enable you to learn more about Fashion Law.  This website is for informational purposes only. The materials provided on this website do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.