IP

A new episode in the Rubik’s Cube saga

Rubik’s Brand v EUIPO – Simba Toys (Case T-601/17) by Laura Gastaldi, Lara Mastrangelo and Alessandra Tozzi Whether you are from the 20th century or a millennial, the Rubik’s cube will immediately bring you back in time. Indeed, such multicolored three-dimensional puzzle is one of the most popular toys of all times, with more than 350 million units sold worldwide. Yet, there are few things that not everybody knows about the Magic Cube. The first one is that it was not originally meant to be a toy: Ernõ Rubik, an Hungarian professor, invented it in 1974 in order to help …

A new episode in the Rubik’s Cube saga Read More »

Sky v. Skykick, or on the meaning of “computer software”

On 16 October 2019, the Advocate General Tanchev issued his opinion in relation to one of the most interesting trademark disputes of the recent years, waiting for a preliminary ruling judgement before the CJEU.

The dispute involves Sky plc, Sky International AG and Sky UK Limited (“Sky”), active in the satellite and digital television broadcast service, against Skykick UK Limited and Skykick Inc (“Skykick”), which supply cloud migration information technology services.

According to the results of the main proceedings held before the High Court of Justice of the UK, Sky sued Skykick for having allegedly infringed its EU trademarks consisting in the word “SKY” through the use of the sign “Skykick” and its variants. Skykick defended its position by denying the trademark infringement alleged by Sky and by counterclaiming that Sky’s trademarks were invalidly registered, on the two grounds that (i) the specifications of goods and services lack clarity and precision and (ii) the relevant trademark applications were consequently made in bad faith.

Read more »

Paparazzi v. celebrities copyright lawsuits – the last American trend!

It is common to spot groups of paparazzi taking pictures at celebrities, fashion icons and influencers on the streets not only during fashion weeks and events, but also in their day-to-day lives. At the same time, it has become increasingly frequent in the United States for paparazzi to file copyright infringement lawsuits against celebrities for sharing those pictures on the Internet, i.e. on social media platforms, without the photographers’ “permission or consent” or without paying them any licence fee.

The latest to be sued by a paparazzi for copyright infringement is no less than Victoria Beckham, but the list includes both celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Gigi and Bella Hadid and brands such as Marc Jacobs and Versace. In general, these cases tended to end with out-of-court settlements that led celebrities to pay steep monetary damages. This created a precedent and many other lawsuits, which are still pending, followed, in the last few months.

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends – Karl Lagerfeld’s heritage: who is going to award the rights on his image? Does the cat really take it all?

Last July, with “The Dawn of Romanity” haute couture show against the Colosseum backdrop, Fendi paid tribute to its longtime Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld, with 54 outfits to represent his 54-year tenure at the maison. But who owns the rights in the image of the recently deceased iconic fashion genius?

According to some leaks, the worldwide famous designer Karl Lagerfeld, before his death, would have left the entirety of his heritage to his beloved cat Choupette. This is not the first time a person decides to nominate his pet as the universal heir: from Countess Karlotta Liebenstein to Alexander McQueen, leaving everything (or a big portion of one’s assets) to a pet has become a sort of trend for many celebrities… But what are the legal consequences in relation to the rights of image of the celebrity according to the Italian law?

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends – Fashion and Parody: a trendy combo?

The retail and fashion sectors need to deal with new legal issues due to the adoption of IoT technologies as a consequence of the rapid digital revolution of the industry.

The “wave” of the Internet of Things is heavily impacting the retail sector leading to new legal issues that have never been experienced by most fashion brands, and in general retail companies.

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends – Can Artificial Intelligence create a style? The relationship between fashion and technology

As we already discovered in some of our previous articles, from 3D avatars to wardrobe advisers, passing through CGI and Robot IT girls, artificial intelligence (“AI”) is shaping our outfits and looks.

Indeed, AI is transforming the fashion industry in every element of its value chain and marketplace. In last years, all retail giants are using AI to improve the efficiency of sales systems and processes and to enhance clients’ shopping experience, offering a personalized service tailored on their interests and preferences.

Most of the biggest fashion houses – from H&M to Tommy Hilfiger – are now investing in algorithms that suggest styles to their customers.

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends – Does the Cofemel decision marks the end of “artistic value”?

As the Milan Fashion Week goes on in these days, we are eager to keep you updated with the very most recent fashion law topics and matters.

This time we speak about copyright after that on 12 September 2019, the CJEU issued the long-awaited decision on the Cofemel case C-683/17, which opens a new path for the copyright protection of designs in the EU and in Italy.

The case involved G-Star Raw CV and Cofemel – Sociedade de Vestuário SA, two companies active in the sector of clothing, including design, production and sale of materials. G-Star accused Cofemel of copying its designs related to jeans, sweatshirts and t-shirts products, claiming that its models constituted original intellectual creations qualified as “works” and protected under Portuguese Copyright Law. On the other side, Cofemel argued that such models could not be qualified as “works” and, hence, were not copyrightable.

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends –  Monograms: just letters or powerful trademarks?

By Elena Varese e Lara Mastrangelo The Milan Fashion Week has just started and from today we are glad to host for the second time some highlights on the major fashion law trends of this season. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” used to claim Juliet in the famous Shakespeare’s play, but would a Louis Vuitton bag without its legendary monogram – or with a slightly different one – be as fashionable? To be honest, the tragic end of Shakespeare’s story might suggest that names – like it or not – have a significant value. This …

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends –  Monograms: just letters or powerful trademarks? Read More »

FinTech: Who is responsible if AI makes mistakes when suggesting investments?

The recently reported legal action brought for damages due to wrong investments resulting from algorithms-based automated decision-making processes is one of the first known cases of this type. The case has received some attention from the media worldwide and has contributed to reopen the debate on the issue of liability connected to the use of Artificial Intelligence systems (“AI”). The question at issue is, in brief: who is held liable for the damages caused by AI and who shall compensate such damages, if any.

Read more »

eSports and Copyright between choreographies and UGC

There are a number of copyright issues related to the choreography of an eSports game. In these days the first (and most important) regards the protection of choreographic elements (i.e. a dance) which could appear in videogames. In Europe and in the USA, a choreographic work is protected by copyright. This is why an extended series of dances moves that is original to its creator can be protected by copyright. The above explains the law suits recently filed in the USA at the end of 2018 by several individuals in connection with famous Fortnite videogame.

If you are not familiar with Fortnite, players can buy (or earn) emotes, short avatar animations who can replicate generic acrobatic moves and dances. The Fortnite Loser Dance (so called L Dance) become famous thanks to the French soccer player Griezmann, who used this theme after scoring in the last World Cup 2018 final against Croatia.

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends – The never-ending saga of cultural appropriation in fashion

Over the last years we have witnessed extensive disapproval of the fashion world when dealing with collections or campaigns inspired by different cultures. As a fact, criticism on alleged cases of cultural appropriation has been rising to the stars throughout the years and does not seem to come to an end.

Generally speaking, cultural appropriation is defined as the unrecognized or inappropriate adoption of traditions, practices, ideas, etc. of one culture by members of another cultural, usually the latter being more dominant.

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends − New brand identity in the fashion industry: is the “sans-serification” the right move? 

In recent months many fashion companies have been restyling their brands by simplifying and minimizing their visual impact: big fashion industries are dropping unique fonts, words and design features − which until now have significantly contributed to differentiate their brands from their competitors’ ­− in favor of most popular and common fonts, such as sans-serif.

“Less is more”, we may say.

Read more »

Use of excerpts of videogames and eSports competitions without the right holder’s consent: is it fair use (or the Princess is in another castle)?

Publications sharing tips on how to complete videogames and maximise bonuses might increase with the expansion of the eSport competitions. The same applies to platforms streaming videogames alone or together with eSport actions of the various players. Yet are these activities possible without the right holders’ consent?

Under Italian law, videogames are protected as a whole as copyright works like movies, whilst their frames could be protected as simple photographies (with protection lasting 20 years from their publication). Following a different opinion, videogame frames could be excluded from protection, as they may considered similar to documents, as provided by Art. 87, last sentence of the Italian Copyright Law (ICL).

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends: Sustainability and green claims

After that last September Lady Gaga walked the Venice Film Festival red carpet in a pink feathered Valentino gown, next season will be all about feathers. But where do feathers come from? Are they compliant with sustainability claims and animal welfare regulations?

Since consumers are increasingly sensitive towards sustainability problems and the ecological and ethical qualities of a product can influence the purchasing choices of the average consumer, the last trend in fashion is using materials and manufacturing processes that respect the environment and local communities, along with animal welfare and working conditions. During last Milan Fashion Week, the whole fashion system met at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards launched in 2017 to celebrate the commitment of luxury fashion houses to sustainability. Ex Spice Girl, now fashion designer Victoria Beckham announced that she will stop use of exotic leathers from A/W 2019 collection of her fashion brand, already fur free. The global sportswear brand Adidas committed to using only recycled plastic by 2024. Just yesterday the French luxury group LVMH launched the first standard for responsible crocodile leather sourcing across three pilot farms.

Read more »

Milan Fashion Week and Fashion Law Trends: Use and protection of fashion archives

The Milan Fashion Week has just started and from today we are glad to host some highlights on the major fashion law trends of this season.

Heritage is one of the major assets a fashion company holds and the ultimate tendency of this Fashion Week is to revamp old creations from the maison’s archives.

Firstly, it should be assessed whether the fashion company can use its own archives. This seems to be a plain question, however, in practice, it could happen that, despite being the owner of the physical copies of sketches and preparatory works of certain garments or motifs, the company does not hold the IP rights over such creations of the past.

Read more »