Beauty and Fashion

Although the term “Fashion Law” is relatively new, Ladas & Parry has been a leader in the field for decades, representing clients that range from emerging designers to influential Fortune 500 fashion brands.  Our comprehensive knowledge of intellectual property problems unique to the fashion industry allows us to advise clients holistically on measures required to secure and maintain both domestic and international IP protection and support strategic growth and expansion strategies in the rapidly changing global fashion industry.

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21.Apr.17Ladas & Parry LLP is thankful for all of the attendees of the 2017 INTA Annual Meeting in...

11.Apr.17Ralph H. Cathcart and Jennifer Kwon of our New York office were recently mentioned in an article on...

15.Mar.17Ladas & Parry announced on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 the launch of Principium Strategies,...

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+ Brand, Logo, and Trademark Development and Protection

Trademarks and brand identity are critical to a successful fashion brand.  We advise clients on the availability and development of distinctive trademarks for fashion goods and services, including slogans, product lines, and packaging designs.  Even where a company is not yet operating internationally, our global knowledge informs our advice to the client, allowing them to lay framework for future success.  We secure, monitor, maintain, and enforce trademark rights throughout the world and, through Principium Strategies, our affiliated brand  monitoring service and ICANN-accredited domain name registrar subsidiary, related domain names worldwide.  Our knowledge of IP in the fashion industry allows us to identify and manage particular issues such as the use of a designer’s name as a trademark or reputational risks and high costs involved when a style name is infringing.  The fast-paced turnaround of each new product line raises the stakes when it comes to securing and enforcing rights and our clients can rely on our deep experience to ensure that their legal affairs are handled as quickly as the shifting trends.

+ Protection of Fashion Designs and Creative Content

Ladas & Parry advises clients regarding the various forms of protection available for fashion designs and creative content and as international IP experts, we help clients utilize the varying types of available protection around the world.  United States Intellectual Property laws are well-known for lacking protection tailored to the fashion industry; however, our vast knowledge of the IP landscape allows us to assess the patchwork of types of available protection to determine where a client already has rights and where they might consider seeking protection.  In the United States, for example, copyright for “useful articles” is limited; however United States copyright law is an effective means of protecting fabric designs and other non-functional, artistic expressions, such as jewelry, some product packaging, websites, textiles, and photographs.  In contrast, some countries, such as France, are much more generous in affording copyright protection to fashion designs.  Trade dress in the United States may protect the aesthetic appearance of product packaging, while design patents and their equivalents abroad are an underutilized tool for protecting original ornamental aspects of fashion products, including shoes, handbags, belts, hats, elements of outerwear, and eyeglass frames.  Utility or industrial patents may be used to protect original inventions or processes of a functional nature, such as new types of fabric or new fasteners. Ladas & Parry’s attorneys work with each client to determine where protection may be available and what will best accomplish the goals of the company in a cost-effective manner.

+ Licensing, Brand Expansion, and Global Strategy

Ladas & Parry’s rich understanding of both the business and legal aspects of licensing and other aspects of brand expansion enables us to strategically advise clients in the highly fragmented fashion industry.  Licensing can be a very profitable mechanism to both strengthen a brand and expand into new product categories and markets.  Fashion clients often face issues of ensuring that the licensee is maintaining the proper image of a brand, for example by ensuring that the licensed product will only be sold through retailers of a certain quality.  We assist our clients in assessing potential license arrangements, including the selection of suitable licensing partners.  We negotiate license agreements seeking maximum value while limiting risk to the brand.  Many fashion companies will utilize cross-marketing opportunities and enter co-branding or celebrity endorsement deals.  In these types of agreements, we ensure that the co-branded product does not compete with our client’s product in a way that might hurt sales or negatively affect the brand’s reputation.  There is also the matter of ownership rights in products featuring both trademarks.

+ Anti-Counterfeiting Measures

Ladas & Parry understands the harm caused by counterfeiting of fashion products, both to the brand and to consumers.  We work with clients to develop a coherent anti-counterfeiting program.  These programs may involve educating personnel within the company about the problem of counterfeiting and the procedure for reporting suspected counterfeit products, hiring investigators to conduct anti-counterfeiting operations, and establishing relationships with and providing training to local law enforcement agencies, U.S. and foreign Customs authorities, and seeking criminal and/or civil actions against counterfeiters or third-party contributory infringers.

+ Marketing and Advertising

Ladas & Parry has a deep understanding of the law and business of advertising and its close connection with the fashion industry.  Irrespective of the medium, advertising containing photography or film footage, music, third-party products, and names or images of people must be cleared to avoid liability, whether created in-house or through an agency.  We advise our clients on how to ensure that ad content is properly cleared through licensing or purchase.  Additionally, because advertising is monitored by the Federal Trade Commission and other state and local oversight organizations, we advise our clients on compliance with these rapidly changing regulations.