Giorgio Armani, Corp. Sued For $75 Million

Giorgio Armani was sued last week by former employee Fabio Silva in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Silva worked as general counsel for the company for about a year from October 2014 to July 2015.

Silva alleges in his lawsuit that Giorgio Armani created a hostile work environment and unlawfully discharged Silva based on national origin and disability.

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Silva claims that because he is of Mexican descent he recieved discriminatory statements from a co-worker. He then met with Chief Operating Officer, Giorgio Fornari to complain; however, nothing was done to rectify the situation. In fact, Silva claims that the company then retaliated and denied his request for a raise because he complained of discrimination.

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New Balance Sues Karl Lagerfeld for Infringement

There’s a sneaker trend happening right now in the fashion industry (and, I must say I’m not really a fan of sneakers, unless I’m doing some sort of physical activity). And, it seems that one of these “fashion sneakers” is hitting a little too close to home for a particular sneaker brand. New Balance has sued Karl Lagerfeld for Infringing upon the look of its signature sneaker.

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Balenciaga Sues Steve Madden For Trademark Infringement

Last week, Balenciaga filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Steve Madden Ltd. in the Southern District of New York. The Parisian fashion house is claiming that the American brand infringed on its trademark, most associated with the ‘it’ bag of the mid 2000’s, the Motorcycle Bag. They are requesting an injunction to stop Steve Madden from producing the bags, as well as monetary damages.

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Balenciaga is claiming that the Steve Madden purposefully copied the design which is protected by a federally registered trade dress. By copying the design, Balenciaga, alleges that Steve Madden is confusing the customer who may think that a Steve Madden bag is a Balenciaga bag or vice versa. Under trademark law, one is entitled to trade dress protection for a design when the design identifies the origin of the product, the brand.

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Rachel Roy Wins Preliminary Injunction

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Rachel Roy won a preliminary injunction in her battle to stop The Jones Group from selling the Rachel Roy brand and associated trademarks to Bluestar Alliance for $14.6 million. New York State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Oing handed down the injunction on Friday which effectively prevents the continuance of any negotiations of the sale until the lawsuit has been resolved.

Roy sued the production and distribution company that has been acquired by equity firm Sycamore Partners in April of this year, claiming that the sale of the company violates the agreements between Roy and Jones when Jones acquired the brand in 2008.

To be granted a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff must show there is a likelihood of success and irreparable harm. Justice Oing stated, “Irreparable harm is that, you know, when it comes to trademarks, when it comes to designs, it’s very personal in nature.…This is something that she created, it’s her baby in that sense.…And I can’t help but think that [her trademark or] what she has worked hard at to develop would somehow go downscale or may go downscale, and it may go down to lower end, which is not what she envisioned, and that’s why this contract is written the way it’s written.”

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Aéropostale Sues H&M For Trademark Infringement

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Aéropostale, the teen retailer, has taken on fast fashion giant, Hennes & Maurtiz, in a trademark infringement suit. Aeropostale is claiming that H&M has infringed on 87 trademarks, including “Live Love Dream.”

The teen retailer has alleged in its suit that “H&M engaged in a pattern of conduct involving the use of identical, or nearly identical marks on some of the same goods for which Aéropostale uses its marks, namely, clothing and tote bags.”

Aéropostale sent cease and desist letters to the Swedish retailer over a t-shirt and a bag with the words “Live Love Dream” and other pieces that the company claims infringe on other marks it holds. According to the suit, H&M responded by stating that Aéropostale would not be able to prove that their use of the phrase “creates any likelihood of confusion” and “is a fair use” under the First Amendment.

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