Louise Nash

Louise Nash

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ISPs ordered to block websites infringing trademarks and must pay for implementation

On 6 July 2016, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales upheld the validity of injunctions requiring the five leading Internet service providers (“ISPs”) in the UK to block consumer access to websites marketing counterfeit goods and infringing trademarks.  Significantly, the ISPs, as intermediaries for the infringement, were burdened with the costs of implementing … Continue Reading

CJEU gives guidance on 3D shape marks

On September 16, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) responded to three preliminary questions referred to it last year from the High Court of England and Wales. The CJEU gave guidance on the registrability or otherwise of 3-dimensional shapes as trade marks. Although the facts concerned the bitterly fought dispute concerning … Continue Reading

UK CMA launches Article 101 investigation into fashion markets

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive arrangements in UK fashion markets.  Little information has been released, but the case was opened on 24 March 2015 into anticompetitive agreements and concerted practices under Chapter I of the UK Competition Act 1998 and/or Article 101 of the Treaty on … Continue Reading

Chanel succeeds before the Irish Labour Court

In its ruling published on 3 November 2014, the Irish Labour Court determined that a conversation between a Chanel sales assistant and a manager was not unlawful. Ilena Cappello, a former sales assistant at a Parfums Chanel in a department store in Dublin, Ireland, lodged a complaint in the Irish Equality Tribunal against Parfum Chanel, … Continue Reading

Is it time for a fashionable smartwatch?

The launch of the Apple Watch on 9 September has prompted a discussion of how wearable devices can bridge the gap between technology and fashion, and how this developing market might affect traditional luxury brands. Smartwatches represent a fast-growing market.  In 2013, the market volume of the global smartwatch industry was USD 700 million: experts … Continue Reading

Blomqvist v. Rolex: EU Court of Justice says a foreign online sale is enough to stop counterfeits at the EU border; No need to show further evidence of ‘targeting’ EU consumers

A fake ‘Rolex’ sold from a website in China is delivered to Denmark  The case began in January 2010 when Danish resident Mr. Blomqvist purchased a ‘Rolex’ watch from a Chinese online shopping site.  The order and payment were made through an English version of the website.  The seller dispatched the watch from Hong Kong.  … Continue Reading

Tobacco plain packaging laws: public health as a basis for restricting branding rights

Should a government be allowed to take away branding rights for a product that is widely acknowledged to be unhealthy?  That’s exactly what happened in Australia—in December 2012, Australia’s controversial “plain packaging” tobacco law came into force with the enactment of the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011.  The Act requires cigarette companies to manufacture and … Continue Reading

EU guidelines on cosmetic product safety reports

On 25 November 2013, the European Commission published an Implementing Decision containing guidelines to assist responsible persons to comply with their regulatory obligations under the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 (Cosmetics Regulation).  The guidelines provide clarity on Annex I of the Cosmetics Regulation, which sets out the minimum requirements for cosmetic product safety reports.  … Continue Reading

New simplified UK visa rules may mean increased luxury spending by Chinese tourists

While in China earlier this month, George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a new pilot scheme to simplify the process by which Chinese citizens apply for UK tourist visas. The current, burdensome requirements for Chinese citizens to apply for a UK visa include supplying biometric information, fees of up to £200 (higher … Continue Reading

Companies flouting National Minimum Wage laws to be publicly named and shamed

Since our blog post on the UK Government’s crackdown on the use of un-paid interns, there have been further developments regarding the National Minimum Wage (“NMW”) scheme. In October 2013, restrictions will be stripped back making it easier for an employer who breaks NMW law to be publicly named and shamed. Under the current scheme, the Pay … Continue Reading

Promoting worker safety at overseas factories — factory inspections may not be enough

Brand owners who manufacture goods overseas often retain third-party firms to conduct factory inspections, in part to ensure that the workers who make their products are treated fairly and work under safe conditions.  Inspections are central to The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, two pacts … Continue Reading

Model working conditions? UK retailers sign up to Equity’s 10 point code for the treatment of models

Earlier this week, CovBrands blogged about prospective changes to New York law, which would give increased protection to models under the age of 18. In the UK, young models are protected by regulations that apply to child performers under age 16. The regulations require a special licence to hire a child to participate in any … Continue Reading

New York moves to extend child labor laws to models under 18

As a global fashion center, New York attracts hordes of aspiring young models each year.  Soon, a new law could require designers, advertisers and fashion publications to meet strict requirements if they wish to employ models under the age of 18. Historically, child models have been exempt from the legal protections that New York law … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Rihanna successfully sues Topshop for using her image on t-shirts

You may remember that, back in May, CovBrands reported that Rihanna was suing Topshop for selling a t-shirt, which bore her image, without her consent.  The judgment is in and the High Court has ruled that Topshop is liable on the grounds of passing off. However, the court did not take the opportunity to introduce … Continue Reading

Companies leverage YouTube for advertising that doesn’t look like advertising

Red Bull’s YouTube channel has 2.5 million subscribers.  Their video of Felix Baumgartner’s freefall to Earth from space, all while decked out in a Red Bull branded space suit, has 34 million views.  It’s not a fluke.  Red Bull’s other videos containing authentic content – read not obviously an ad – regularly pass the 10 … Continue Reading

“Bring your own device to work” – how to embrace the trend without risking your brand

Since Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, the popularity of smart phones and tablets has sky-rocketed.  These devices, with their sleek design, touch screens and easy access to a myriad of entertainment options, have fast become the preferred method of communication for executives. In recent years, a growing number of companies have allowed employees … Continue Reading

London Collections: Men

The British Fashion Council’s fashion week focused on men only, London Collections: Men, kicked off yesterday in London (according to a recent study by the Victoria and Albert Museum, the birthplace of men’s luxury fashion).  The men’s spring/summer 2014 collection is shown over three days.  Despite only debuting in June of last year, the London … Continue Reading

Can the Maasai tribe obtain IP protection for its name and images?

Africa’s Maasai tribe is thinking about trademarking their name and designs, the BBC has reported.  Isaac ole Tialolo, a Maasai leader and elder, who is also chair of a new organisation, the Maasai Intellectual Property Initiative, has, together with Light Years IP (an NGO which specialises in securing IP rights in developing countries), been travelling … Continue Reading

UK Government cracking down on use of unpaid interns

The on-going debate concerning the use of unpaid interns resurfaced last week, as the UK Employment Relations Minister, Jo Swinson, handed HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) a list of 100 companies — including many in the fashion industry — accused of breaching national minimum wage (NMW) laws by using unpaid interns in paid roles. The … Continue Reading

Are image rights set to be introduced by the English High Court this summer?

Rihanna is suing Topshop for allegedly selling a t-shirt, which bears her image, without her consent.  The t-shirt in question, which was on sale in Topshop stores in the UK at the end of 2012, had an image of Rihanna’s face from her “We Found Love” music video, reports WWD. The case will be heard … Continue Reading

Manufacturing in an emerging market: 10 things to include in your contract

Global apparel brands are facing uncomfortable questions about their brand values in the wake of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh where 1,127 people died.  The disconnect between the brand values promoted by companies using the factory and the reality of appalling working conditions and fundamental lack of rights for workers … Continue Reading

The Rise of E-Commerce in China: What Does it Mean for Premium Brands?

The CovBrands team in Beijing relies on e-commerce for day-to-day shopping.  With clothes, office supplies, electronics, and even groceries only a click away and often delivered the same day, we almost never need to set foot in a physical store.   And we are not alone.  In China, e-commerce is growing quickly, generating $190 billion in … Continue Reading

Social media employee policy

Companies are increasingly recognising the benefits of using social media to increase brand recognition and consumer loyalty, thereby boosting sales and profitability.  Many consumers follow brands online for news of product launches and special offers.  One way of maximising a brand’s social media presence is to involve employees.  In the Cosmetics industry, Estée Lauder implemented … Continue Reading

Selling branded goods at “fire sale” prices: there’s insurance for that?

Clothing retailers, particularly in these economic conditions, often have to steeply mark down prices in order to move merchandise.  When a retailer does so, the brand may see the re-pricing as a degradation of its name.  If the brand brings a lawsuit against the retailer over the fire sale prices, does the retailer’s insurer have … Continue Reading
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