Archives: Fragrances & cosmetics

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German Court sends online sales bans to ECJ

On 25 April, the German Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt filed a request for a preliminary ruling with the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in a case that turns on the ability of branded goods manufacturers to protect the reputation of their brands by controlling online trade. Coty is suing one of its authorised distributors, … 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

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

Swiss court refuses to scrub toothpaste fine for import bans

Prices of branded goods in Switzerland have historically been higher than in neighboring countries.  As a result, measures that impede parallel imports into Switzerland have long been seen as preventing Swiss customers from purchasing cheaper products from the European Union (EU), and have triggered complaints to the Swiss competition authority (ComCo).  ComCo has actively investigated … Continue Reading

London Fashion Week: Model Rights?

As models are flown in from across the globe for London Fashion Week, we take the opportunity to remind businesses of their responsibilities towards models under UK employment law. Last summer, we blogged on the movement gathering momentum both in the UK and further afield to ensure that models’ working conditions provide adequate protection. The … Continue Reading

Brands look to adapt as austerity drive hits luxury goods sector in China

Increased scrutiny in China of the consumption of luxury goods appears to be contributing to slowing demand in certain sectors.  As previously reported, the case of Yang Dacai, a Chinese official who became the subject of an internet campaign focused on the many luxury watches he owned, led to public outrage and an investigation by … Continue Reading

Growth in the California organic products market matched by increase in consumer litigation

Buoyed by health and environmental concerns, the demand for “organic” and “natural” products is soaring in the United States.  The U.S. organic industry was estimated to be worth over USD 31.5 billion in 2011, an increase of 9.5% from the previous year and nearly double its size from five years earlier.  Given that organic products … Continue Reading

Swiss competition commission closes antitrust investigation into cosmetic products distribution

On 21 October 2013, the Swiss competition authority (WEKO) decided to close its antitrust probe into the distribution of cosmetic products through beauty institutes.  In the course of its investigation, the competition authority identified a number of vertical restraints in the distribution agreements concluded between the manufacturers of the cosmetic products and the beauty institutes … 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

Ruling on borderline product classification highlights lack of harmonization in the EU

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recently delivered its judgment in case C-109/12 concerning the legal status of medical devices.  The CJEU confirmed Advocate General Sharpston’s opinion that Member States may classify the same product differently and confirms previous rulings of the CJEU.  If the ruling is applied to other borderline products, such as cosmetics and … Continue Reading

Luxury in Lagos: Nigeria embraces extravagance

Nigeria is often said to be the African country with the highest growth potential along with Angola.  It is the continent’s most populous country (with over 168 million people) and, despite 50% of the population living in poverty, there are still over 60 million who are upwardly mobile in society — a number that exceeds … 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

New York toughens its child labor laws to protect young models

In August we explored the move in New York to extend the protection of certain child labor laws to child models (under the age of 18).  You can read more here.  This week, the bill (S.5486) was signed by Governor Cuomo and has passed into law with significant impact for the fashion industry, particularly in … 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

Biocidal products subject to new EU approval, labelling and disclosure requirements

The EU Biocidal Products Regulation, which came into effect as of September 1, 2013, will apply to a wide variety of consumer goods manufactured in, or imported into, the European Union and European Economic Area (“EU/EEA”), such as leather products (e.g. shoes, handbags or jackets) and other fabrics or textiles, electronic equipment, furniture and other … 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

Retail pricing of luxury goods remains a fashionable target for EU competition regulators

As previously reported, scrutiny of retail pricing in the luxury industry continues to be a priority for European competition authorities.  In addition to ongoing investigations of retail pricing of sportswear apparel in Denmark and luxury watches in Poland, the German competition authority (FCO) recently imposed  €6.5 million fines on natural cosmetics maker WALA and two … Continue Reading

IP rights enforcement at the EU border: Customs detained €1 billion worth of fake goods in 2012

The import of counterfeit goods into Europe continues to be a major concern for both brands and consumers. The EU Commission’s annual report on customs actions to enforce IP rights states that EU Customs detained almost 40 million products suspected of violating IP rights in 2012. The figure is lower than in 2011, but the … Continue Reading

FTC says “Get FDA pre-approval first” to Cedarcide head lice advertisers

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced settlement with two marketers of bed bug and head lice products.  The settlement prohibits the use of allegedly deceptive advertising claims and requires Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) pre-approval for treatment claims about head lice.  While the settlement terms only apply to the two marketers of cedar … 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

Resale price maintenance and vertical price-fixing agreements in the French luxury perfumes sector

Last month the highest French court – the Cour de cassation – upheld a fine of more than € 40 million imposed on 13 luxury perfume manufacturers (including Chanel and Guerlain) and three giant retailers on the French market (Marionnaud, Séphora and Nocibé) for price fixing.  The Cour de cassation confirmed the finding of an … 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

Is India the answer to the increasing costs of production in China?

With wages increasing in China some manufacturers are looking at alternative production centers.  For manufacturers seeking low labor costs, India is appealing and may represent the next frontier for manufacturing, but is it viable option? A 2010 study by America’s Bureau of Labor Statistics found that, at just under a dollar an hour, India’s labor … Continue Reading

European Commission to crack down on e-commerce scams

The European Commission is to crack down on aggressive commercial practices which are discouraging consumers from shopping at online stores in other EU member states. The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (the Directive) introduced a standardized set of rules across the EU, including a general prohibition on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices.  Among the Directive’s provisions are … Continue Reading