Archives: Supply chain

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Luxury Goods Manufacturers May Block Certain Online Sales on Third-Party Platforms

By Jennifer Boudet, Miranda Cole and Gemma Nash. On 6 December 2017, the Court of Justice of European Union (CJEU) issued its long-awaited Judgment in Coty Germany GmbH v Parfümerie Akzente GmbH.  Taking an approach similar to that adopted by Advocate General (AG) Wahl in his Opinion in July, the CJEU found that a supplier of luxury goods may prevent … Continue Reading


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

FTC Announces First Consent Order With a Retail Tracking Company

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) today announced that it has entered into a proposed consent order with Nomi Technologies (“Nomi”), marking the agency’s first action against a retail tracking company.  The announcement comes one year after the agency held a workshop on mobile device tracking in the retail environment.  Although the action may indicate increased … Continue Reading

Asics’ German online distribution structure may land in a different place to Adidas

In early 2013, the German competition authority (Bundeskartellamt) opened investigations into the German online distribution systems of sporting goods manufacturers Adidas and Asics.  Both companies operate selective distribution systems, and the Bundeskartellamt took the preliminary view that both companies were imposing on their distributors restrictions regarding online sales that went beyond what was justifiable to … 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

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

Two Polish distributors of luxury watches fined for unlawful price fixing

The Polish Competition Authority’s probe into the luxury watch sector led to a first round of fines this week – two distributors of branded watches were fined the equivalent of ca. EUR 275,000, for fixing with their downstream retailers minimum retail prices for the sale of watches. PHU Jubiler and Anyro&Co retail and wholesale watches … Continue Reading

Andy Rosen and the CFDA launch new initiative to revitalize New York City manufacturing

Andy Rosen, founder of the designer brand Theory, along with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (“CFDA”) and the New York City Economic Development Cooperation are launching the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative to raise funds for New York city factories that are at least two-years-old.  By encouraging American designers to manufacture domestically, this initiative is … 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

Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy technology — a new tool to combat counterfeiting?

Counterfeiters are constantly coming up with new and clever ways to produce high quality copies of fashion and luxury products.  Many copies can’t be distinguished from the original products without authentication features.  Brands are increasingly using RFID tags and other ways to help consumers and customs officials identify what’s real and what’s fake.  The latest … Continue Reading

Luxury watch pricing under Polish antitrust watchdog’s microscope

Scrutiny of retail pricing of luxury goods appears to continue to be a priority of European competition authorities.  The latest example is the Polish Competition Authority’s ongoing probe into the luxury watch sector. The probe became public through dawn raids, and targets three Polish importers of branded watches: The Swatch Group Poland; Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowo–Usługowe Jubiler; … 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

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

Transparency in the apparel industry: H&M publishes list of suppliers

Times are changing in the apparel industry.  With consumers becoming increasingly aware of how and on what they spend their money and the media focusing on issues like the garment workers’ strike in Bangladesh, it is becoming crucial for companies to understand who is making their products, and the conditions in which they are manufactured. … Continue Reading

Liquor crisis in China could create opportunities for foreign brands

To some people in the outside world, “Made in China” means low quality.  Most Chinese people recognize that, and some even have their own blacklist of domestic products such as certain brands of milk and cooking oil.  Now they have one more category of products to add to their list: Chinese liquor, or bai jiu. … Continue Reading

Is the future for Bangladeshi apparel workers getting brighter?

Tesco has joined forces with the British government to set up the Apparel Skills Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh with the goal to train suppliers, middle managers, and workers in the garment production industry. The Skills Foundation’s center is open to all garment producers in Bangladesh — even those used by Tesco’s competitors.  Current production lines … Continue Reading