Good morning everyone. It is officially July and vacations are almost there (if not already there for some of you). For this week’s IP news:
Nike and Michael Jordan sued for trade mark infringement
Faded Royalty, a New York-based fashion brand, is suing Nike and Michael Jordan for, allegedly, hijacking their star-shaped logo and using it in Jordan’s collaboration. Apparently, Faded Royalty designed and started using its rather unique 6 point star logo on the brand’s apparel back in 2000 and have been consistently using it since then. With that in mind, Faded Royalty considers that Nike, in its collaboration with Jordan, started using its logo without the proper authorisation. Such unauthorised use has, apparently, created confusion in the marketplace as to who created the logo and is negatively affecting Faded Royalty’s business. This negative impact has been reinforced by the fact that, when launching the collaboration, Nike publicly claimed that the collaboration, including the logo, was Cody Hudson’s exclusive creative work.
Left: Nike’s apparel. Right: Faded Royalty’s logo
Not only has Nike committed a trade mark infringement, but also a copyright infringement since the owner of Faded Royalty has registered its copyright (copyright registration is something unique to the US and not applicable to Europe) over the drawing of this 6 point star.
Faded is now seeking damages for a modest amount of 30 million dollars, as well as injunctive relief to prevent Nike from further using the logo and selling the goods on its website.
Amazon sued for copyright infringement
It is fairly unusual to see Amazon on the other side of the infringement suit. However, in today’s news Amazon is targeted for distributing copyright-protected works for which it doesn’t hold a licence. Hartmann, the company that owns the exclusive rights to distribution and reproduction for “Commander Hamilton”, “After the Rain”, “Drop Dead Gorgeous” and “Austin Power: International Man of Mystery” is now filing for copyright infringement against Amazon for distributing said movies without the necessary licence or authorisation. The infringement was not only committed in the US, where the movies were stored and streamed but also overseas since the movies were also distributed outside the US.
We will keep you updated!
Kylie Cosmetics and Coty facing trade secret accusations
Seed Beauty is suing Kylie Cosmetics and Coty for stealing its “pioneering and proprietary digital-first business model that has revolutionised the cosmetics industry”. Apparently the theft was triggered by Coty’s inability to adapt to the digital environment who then sought access to Seed’s unique digital strategy through Kylie Cosmetics.
As the one in charge of the formulation, making, packaging, and shipping of all of Kylie’s products, as well as those of KKW Beauty, Seed is the owner of an array of proprietary and confidential information that is essential to its business model. In this context, Seed claims that because both Kylie Cosmetics and KKW have had access to some of the most valuable and secretive elements of its business, that information is at risk of misappropriation in light of their deals with Coty.
These business elements and strategy are not generally known in the beauty industry and could not be learned by others, without considerable expenditure of time, effort, or expenses. Due to their close ties with Seed Beauty, both Kylie Cosmetics and KKW, have had access to some of this information, and although bound by confidentiality obligations, and due to the recent acquisition of shares by Coty in Kylie Cosmetics, these trade secrets are now at risk of misappropriation by Coty.
In light of the above, Seed is seeking an injunction that would prevent Coty from, among others, reviewing, discussing, disclosing or misappropriating its trade secret information, as well as monetary damages.
Italian Law enforcement takedown counterfeit wine
Police in the Florence region, with the support of Europol, has taken down a network of wine counterfeiters selling fake premium Italian wines online. The infringers were refilling empty bottles of higher-end Italian wines with low-quality beverages that were then marketed as genuine but on sale. The bottles were then sealed using counterfeit capsules with fake seals.
From here, we congratulate this type of operations and want our readers to be careful when dealing with offers online!
This is all for today! See you next week.
- Publication date
- 7 July 2020
- Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises