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Fashion Law

Fashion Law

Trump Sued Over “Identical Copies” of Aquazzura Wild Things

Aquazzura Wild Things have been the it-girl shoes of the moment. So Aquazzura “looks for less” have continued showing up, ranging from $26 to $176 (more on that later).

On Tuesday, Aquazzura filed a fashion law case against Ivanka Trump.*

The Aquazzura Wild Things pictured above are the subject of this fashion law case.

Trump is accused of deceptive trade practices, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition.

Aquazzura says that Ivanka Trump’s Hettie shoe (above) is a near identical match to Aquazzura Wild Things and available in the same color palette.

As I show below, there have been many close copies of Aquazzura Wild Things.

This fashion law issue can be settled out of court but perhaps Aquazzura is going after Trump because of the history of alleged copying. Continue Reading…

Fashion, Fashion Law

Chanel Authenticity Tips for Authenticating Chanel Jewelry

Have you ever wondered if a vintage good was authentic? Chanel authenticity can be tricky.

Vintage pieces are particularly faked. You have to be careful which retailer or website you trust. Even Beyond the Rack sold counterfeits.

Can you decipher Chanel authenticity between double C logo brooches?

Vintage Chanel jewelry is often counterfeited because early Chanel jewelry did not include special markings or hallmarks.

Brooch from Chanel authenticity post Brooch from Chanel authenticity post Brooch from Chanel authenticity post

You may enjoy How to Know if Your Chanel Bag is Authentic.

Brooch from Chanel authenticity post Authentic brooch from Chanel authenticity post

Quality of vintage Chanel materials

Chanel costume jewelry pieces produced between the 1970s and 1990s should be heavy. Most pieces were gold plated but started with a heavy base metal.

Chanel authenticity re trademarks and markings

Depending on the season and year that a piece was produced, the hallmarks vary. When inspecting these markings, it is important to scrutinize the font, depth, and location of the different insignias.

Chanel Authenticity Tips - Chanel Jewelry & Brooch Authenticity Guide

Share this Chanel authenticity infographic with others.

Continue Reading…

Business of Fashion, Fashion, Fashion Law

Cool Watches + Unique Fashion Giveaway

Although my voice and article content is not influenced, this is a sponsored post.

If you follow my blog or instagram, you know that I am a fan and collector of watches—mostly Rolex. Of course, cool watches are not exclusive to well-known luxury brands.

Wooden Watch Review

Jord Wood Watch + Rolex Watches - All Automatic Watches - Father's Day Gift Ideas

Recent Instagram post showcasing some of my Rolex watches with a colorful new addition c/o JORD.

Allow me to introduce you to a cool watch company: JORD watches are unique and luxe.

JORD is a watch company that offers men’s and women’s wood watch lines. And although one of my Audemars Piguet watches runs on a battery, I am partial to watches with automatic movement.* So I was pleased to discover that this eco-friendly, sustainable fashion watch company carries automatic watches.

My experience with my new cool watch

My watch collection was missing a watch with a skeleton aperture. So I am glad to have gotten the opportunity to fill this need with such a unique watch. Although I got this watch for free c/o JORD, it is something I would have purchased on my own. It is an excellent choice for an affordable skeleton watch.

Enter my JORD giveaway for your own cool watch or unique gift for Father’s Day. 😉

I am pleased to report that this wood watch has held up to my non-prissy wear. Sweat has not dulled it. It seems to only get more beautiful with wear.

Cool wood watch by JORD - unique gifts - Father's Day gift ideas

Me wearing my JORD wood watch on a water taxi in Chicago

This watch is more lightweight than I expected. I am accustomed to heavy watches so I find myself constantly checking to see if it is still on. I have not had any problems with the watch unclipping, getting caught on a garment, or opening during wear.

The crown is stiff and sturdy and features the engraving of the JORD J logo.

Wooden wrist watch fashion law

I have previously discussed eco-conscious fashion—but eco friendly wooden watches?

The watch I have is made of Purpleheart wood. Purpleheart grows in Latin American rain forests. Over-harvesting has caused several species to become endangered in areas where they were once abundant. In Costa Rica and Panama, purpleheart wood is an economically valuable tree; however, purplewood harvest is prohibited by law. Naturally fallen trees and sustainable farms provide legal wood.

How is using trees to make jewelry “good” for the environment?

JORD utilizes wood that would otherwise end up in the waste cycle. A great majority of the wood comes from furniture remnants. They are also mindful of not being wasteful during the manufacturing and production of their wood watches.

Enter my JORD giveaway

Cool wood watch by JORD - unique gifts - Father's Day gift ideas

This deep purple hue is natural, as with all JORD watches, no dyes or hazardous materials are used. All of these wood watches are treated with natural substances. Only natural tung oil is used to treat the wood.

Cool watches make unique gifts and great additions to professional wardrobes

Father's Day Unique Gifts - JORD Wood Watch Chronograph Maple & Rose Gold

Cool watches are a fun addition to all wardrobes. They make unique gifts too.

The chronograph sidney maple watch with rose gold face is adorable. It retails for less than $200 and comes with keepsake wooden watch holder. This watch comes in more masculine wood and watch face colors.

A wood watch would make a great father’s day gift for men who like watches or sustainable fashion. Although the watches I pictured are quite girly, many JORD watches are unisex.

JORD also makes watches for men. Check them out for cool watches and unique gifts.

Brand protection

Jord means earth in Swedish. I read this on the live registered trademark application of a prior user of the mark. The prior user claimed and holds rights to categories of unrelated engineering services. Since JORD watches are in the fashion field, they were also allowed the trademark to the JORD mark.

Similar or same word marks may be owned by different parties when the goods or services are not deemed to be confusingly similar to the consumer. The original user did not create secondary meaning for the word mark nor is the secondary user trying to piggyback off of fame created by the first mark.

Enter my JORD giveaway by June 16, 2016 for your own cool watch or unique gift in time for Father’s Day.

The JORD watch company uses its name and a decorate J logo for its branding. Brand protection and anti-counterfeit measures are only by-products of JORD’s marketing:

“As far as brand protection/anti-counterfeit goes, we don’t have to really deal with that a whole bunch. We’re still super young” … “It’s pretty easy for us to keep a close eye on where our product is going, and how it is being presented”

It is dangerous for a company to wait until they are a popular brand or manufacturing at a large scale to consider brand protection. Although it is not necessary for JORD to also trademark their J logo, it would be a good idea to prevent others from using similar markings on their watches.
Cool wood watch by JORD - unique gifts - Father's Day gift ideas

Of course, their use of the J gives them common law rights. And if a Chinese manufacturer were to copy them, it’d be an uphill battle to enforce rights, particularly trademarks rights that do not cover another country. Although JORD closely manages their manufacturing facilities in China, even Apple has fallen victim to loss of its IP rights in China.

Enter my JORD giveaway by June 16, 2016

JORD wood watch unboxing video

I am sorry for the low lighting. I did a last minute unboxing video for my JORD watch before heading out on a red eye flight.

*In case you don’t know, watches with automatic movement are watches that do not run on batteries. Instead these watches are self-winding: the mechanical watch movement is wound by the motion of the wearer’s wrist.

Fashion Law

Ugg-ly Fashion Trademark Fight

Fashion law case concerning Uggs

Eddie Oygur of Australian Leather is fighting to use the word ‘ugg.’ This Sydney manufacturer of ugg boots is facing an uphill battle against Deckers (owner of Ugg Australia) in a US court. Ugg Australia constantly protects against others describing their sheepskin boots as “ugg” boots.

Fashion law Ugg trademark case

Ugg Australia boot (left) vs Ugg Made in Australia boot (right)

Ugg Australia makes the ugg boots celebs usually wear.

Ugg Australia has “Ugg” trademarks in many USPTO categories and well as in the EU. Recently, on May 5, 2016, Deckers applied for the Ugg mark in connection with online retail services. This registration may be a move to knock competitors’ websites down.

Australian Leather Pty Ltd has manufactured ugg boots since the early ’90s. The company uses Australian sheepskins to make an average of 50,000 pairs yearly.

Ugg trademark case filed against Australian Leather

Although “ugg” began as a general term for utilitarian Australian sheepskin boots centuries ago, it is now a trademark of Deckers. The USPTO officer who allowed the term must not have known of the colloquial use.

Deckers filed a court action calling for sweeping orders. These include requests for all of Australian Leather’s ugg boot stock to be delivered to Deckers in the US for destruction, all funds in the company’s bank accounts to be transferred to Deckers, and millions of dollars in punitive damages.

It is customary for counterfeits to be delivered to the rightful brand owner for destruction. But–whether or not their use of ugg is lawful–Australian Leather is not making counterfeits.

Should the Ugg trademark be canceled?

Many brand owners use trademark counsel to clear new marks with respect to traditional trademark concerns such as inherent distinctiveness and likelihood of confusion with prior marks. So some trademark clearance opinions ignore trademark law’s cousin in the Lanham Act: false advertising.

Trademarks should not be misleading or cause unfair competition.

The FTC has the statutory power to cancel trademarks it finds generic or prohibit the use of trademarks that constitute false advertising.

Ugg trademark case, Ugg Australia v. Australian Leather Co Logos

Is the Ugg Australia trademark false advertising?

Having “Australia” under the Ugg logo may lead consumers to think the shoes are made there. But Ugg Australia products are made in China. They are NOT Australian boots.

Trademarks may be challenged as false or misleading in any of the following scenarios:

  1. Competitor challenges in federal court under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act;
  2. Consumer class actions under state deceptive trade practice and unfair competition laws;

If “ugg” is a generic term, Ugg Australia’s trademark is unacceptable.

Australian Leather thinks Ugg Australia’s marketing in Australia may breach Australian Consumer Law.

Is this fashion law case a missed GI fight?

Australia could have taken ownership of “uggs” as a geographic indicator (GI). In which case, so long as anyone used the term in an accurate way, it would be deemed fair use.

Geographical indicators are indicators which identify a good as originating in the territory of a country, a region, or a locality, where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. Like champagne being from Champagne, France.

Certification marks are used in some countries, GIs in others.

GIs must be protected like a trademark, to prevent them from becoming generic and dying as a result of genericide.

A GI can be saved by changing the consumer’s knowledge of what the name indicates.

An example of fighting genericide is the Chanel ads advising people not to say something is “Chanel style.” An example of a GI doing it is when Champagne did a campaign explaining that while sparkling wine is bubbly like champagne, the importance of terroir (land–and essentially geographic area, climate, and else that may affect taste) comes into play, so the only true champagne may only be found in Champagne, France.*

Once consumers’ attitudes are changed, you may be able to legally claim the name back. Australian Leather may be pursuing a similar tactic: it has started a petition to protect the Australian ugg boot industry.

Can you identify Ugg Australia boots without seeing the brand logo?

Ugg Australia’s trademark should be limited

In light of the ugg term being generic, I think Deckers is being a bully. They offer Australian Leather and others a licensing agreement instead of facing a fashion law battle, and rightfully police their trademark, but I do not think they should own the ugg term.

The ugg term was and should continue to be considered a generic term. To provide otherwise would be like allowing anyone to appropriate the name and style of goods from another culture or region and preventing the original users from continuing such use.

For updates on this Ugg trademark case and other fashion law topics, find me on Twitter.

* You may be familiar with Korbel winery in California. This is the only sparkling wine allowed to call itself Champagne outside of the Champagne region of France. This use is allowed because the winery used the term for a long time. Enough time that the use was known and too much time passed so laches attached before the use was stopped.