Archives: Brand building

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ASICS’ ONLINE SALES RESTRICTIONS CONFIRMED AS ILLEGAL BY DUESSELDORF HIGHER REGIONAL COURT

On 5 April 2017, the Duesseldorf Higher Regional Court confirmed the August 2015 decision of the Federal Cartel Office finding that it is anti-competitive and therefore illegal to impose on distributors a general prohibition on the use of online price comparison portals. The Cartel Office had faulted Asics over imposing the following restrictions on its … Continue Reading

Retail distribution in Africa: challenge and opportunity

The economy in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to grow.  A handful of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, it has the world’s greatest population of young people and the number of middle class consumers – estimated to be 350 million – is booming. With such a growing, promising market, comes great … Continue Reading

Top 10 global consumer trends in 2015

Top 10 global consumer trends in 2015 Euromonitor recently published its yearly report on the “Top 10 Global Consumer Trends in 2015”. The trends will certainly capture the eye of luxury brands, and we pick up on some points of particular interest. Consumers now see “consumption as a route to progress” according to Euromonitor International. … Continue Reading

Guess Wins Latest Trademark Infringement Dispute Against Gucci in the French Courts

The Court of Paris has ruled in favour of Guess in the latest lawsuit brought by Gucci for alleged infringement of some of its trademarks.  Gucci claimed that Guess was infringing its rights by selling wallets, belts, and other products whose designs copied or mimicked its own. On 30 January 2015, the Court of Paris … Continue Reading

Giant multinational Unilever drops suit against innovative start-up Hampton Creek over eggless “mayonnaise”

On October 31 of last year, Unilever filed a lawsuit against Hampton Creek, a start-up company that makes Just Mayo, an eggless spread that tastes like mayonnaise, only to drop the suit a month and a half later. Unilever claimed that Just Mayo was stealing market share from its Hellman’s and Best Foods mayonnaise products … Continue Reading

Serial brand creator Marcia Kilgore sells Soap & Glory to Alliance Boots

UK retailer Alliance Boots has reportedly acquired the beauty brand Soap & Glory for an undisclosed sum. Bliss spa and FitFlop creator Marcia Kilgore founded Soap & Glory in 2004 and since then the brand has become best known for its range of affordable bath, body and skincare products, which are sold in appealing retro … Continue Reading

Ralph Lauren succeeds in opposing “parody trademark” before EU Court

With Contributions From Ramon Luque The General Court (EU) recently delivered a judgment which could offer brand owners greater protection against adaptations and parodies of their brands.  The case is  The Polo/Lauren Company v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM). In late 2009, FreshSide Ltd filed a Community trade … Continue Reading

Mirror, mirror on your app…The cosmetics industry embraces digital

L’Oreal launched its Makeup Genius app earlier this year. It’s been lauded as one of the best attempts at enabling users to apply make-up virtually, through a smartphone or other device. This has prompted a number of market observers to ask whether the colour cosmetics industry is on the cusp of a digital revolution, and … 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

Michael Kors, Costco settle “Bait and Switch” Mother’s Day ad dispute; raises question of best brand policing strategy

With Contributions From Matthew Verdin Michael Kors, LLC and Costco Wholesale Corp. recently settled a trademark infringement lawsuit that the famous fashion designer company filed against the warehouse giant over a nationwide “bait and switch” ad campaign for Mother’s Day.  The lawsuit raises the question of how brand owners can best police their trademarks for … Continue Reading

The protection of brands in Europe using a Community Registered Design – Trunki v Kiddee

“Copycat” branding — where a lesser known brand mimics the appearance or design of a more successful or well-known brand — is becoming more common. Copycat products will often undercut the better known brand on pricing, in order to attempt to access a piece of the market captured by that brand. Designers looking to use … Continue Reading

FTC has its eye on native advertising

Native ads, or advertisements that imitate the form and style of the content in which they are featured, are the hottest new trend in advertising.  This comes as no surprise to consumers: three-quarters of US publishers already offer some form of native ads, and another 17 percent say they are considering offering it within the … Continue Reading

Key terms for celebrity endorsement contracts

Celebrity endorsement is a well-established method of brand promotion and can significantly bolster a brand owner’s bottom line when successful (e.g. Michael Jordan’s signature shoe for Nike).  However, there are a range of commercial and legal issues which a brand owner must navigate when incorporating a celebrity into its brand’s image.  Of course determining which … Continue Reading

Recent trends in defamation cases over online reviews

Brand owners today face a constant challenge in monitoring their company’s online reputation and, where appropriate, responding to user comments and reviews.  Usually, negative online feedback can be addressed through standard customer relations.  Sometimes, though, a user review goes so far beyond the pale that the brand owner might consider suing the user, as well … 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

Abercrombie and Fitch under investigation in France over potentially discriminatory recruitment policies

Abercrombie and Fitch – renowned for its attractive shirtless model hosts greeting customers at store entrances – is currently under investigation by the French human rights watchdog (Defenseur des Droits) over claims that it hires employees based solely on their good looks. The watchdog is concerned that Abercrombie’s recruitment methods are based on discriminatory criteria … 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

The kids are alright: luxury brands embrace children’s apparel lines

Suri Cruise, Harper and Romeo Beckham, and Apple and Moses Martin are just some of the names on Vanity Fair’s latest top ten best dressed list.  If you have not heard these names, you have likely heard of their famous parents (Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Victoria and David Beckham, and Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris … Continue Reading

The dawn of the “wearable technology” era

As news breaks around the world that Apple has applied in multiple jurisdictions for an iWatch trademark, this seems to signal the start of a new era of the “wearable technology” brand. Consumers are accustomed to high-end and luxury lifestyle brands selling wearable accessories — from perfume and sunglasses to handbags and shoes — but … 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

Adidas v. Christian Faith Fellowship Church: an object lesson in the pitfalls of aggressive trademark enforcement

A David and Goliath matchup currently before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeals Board shows that aggressive, adversarial trademark enforcement may not always be the best approach. The dispute pits global sportswear powerhouse Adidas AG against the Christian Faith Fellowship Church, a small-town congregation located outside of Chicago, Illinois. Adidas applied in 2009 to … Continue Reading

Cease and desist letters to “superfans”: the tricky art of protecting a trademark while promoting a brand

Nutella—the delicious nutty chocolate spread made by Ferrero—has its fans, and then it has its superfans.  In the latter category is Sara Rosso, who hosts World Nutella Day every February 5 through a website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. But Rosso recently canceled the popular holiday after Ferrero sent her a cease and desist letter, which drew … 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
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