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In the case that currently has a fair amount of my attention … Chanel and What Goes Around Comes Around (“WGACA”) are expected to make their closing arguments before a New York federal jury today, bringing the first portion of the trademark trial to a close.

You may recall … that Judge Stanton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York provided an outline for the trial in December, stating that the first portion of the trial will be presented to the jury, which will be tasked with deciding “which, if any, of the claims made by Chanel [that] [WGACA] is liable [for].” This will “be followed immediately by its award of damages and legal remedies, such as statutory damages,” according to the court. Then, the parties will present evidence related to “equitable remedies, such as disgorgement and injunctive relief,” exclusively to the court.

A bit of background: Chanel filed suit against WGACA in 2018, alleging that the resale company has tried to “deceive consumers into falsely believing [that it] has some kind of affiliation with Chanel or that Chanel has authenticated [the pre-owned] goods [it is offering up] in order to trade off of Chanel’s brand and goodwill.” At the same time, Chanel has claimed that the New York-headquartered reseller has offered up infringing Chanel-branded products – from coveted handbags to hundreds of display items, the latter of which were never meant for sale. WGACA has come back with nominative fair use, first sale, etc. arguments in its defense.

Read More Here

Some Litigation Updates …

> Nirvana v. Marc JacobsThis case is still underway, with the parties alerting the court in a recent joint filing that there have been no significant settlement developments. 


> Louboutin v. Vinci Leather: Vinci Leather has responded to the TM case waged against it by Louboutin, setting out affirmative defenses, including laches, waiver, estoppel, acquiescence, etc. (You can find its answer here.)


> Whaleco v. SheinA district court in D.C. has refused to shield the names of some of Temu’s third-party fast fashion suppliers in its case against Shein. (Article on this coming on Monday.)

An AI Update …

On Friday, ambassadors from the European Union unanimously approved the AI Act, the (very lengthy) text of which was first leaked last month. Next up: The European Parliament’s Internal Market and Civil Liberties Committees will adopt the AI rulebook on  Feb. 13, followed by a plenary vote slated for April 10. The formal adoption will then be complete, and the Act will enter into force 20 days after publication in the official journal.

In some deal-making news this week …

– Julie Zerbo
Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Here are TFL’s top articles of the week …

1. What is a Counterfeit? Chanel, WGACA Are Arguing Over Definition. Ahead of closing arguments in the jury-portion of their trademark trial on Friday, Chanel and What Goes Around Comes Around were at odds over what it means for something to be a counterfeit.

2. Appeals Court Delves into Modified Watches in Rolex Trademark Case. The 5th Circuit confirmed that BeckerTime ran afoul of Rolex’s trademark rights by offering up modified watches without making sufficient disclosures about the nature of the timepieces.

3. Chanel, WGACA Clash Over Coco Chanel Quotes at Trial. Chanel sought to bolster its argument that “a quotation attributed to Coco Chanel operates as indicia of Chanel provides a basis for its false association or false endorsement claim.” 

4. Thom Browne Prevails in EU Trademark Opposition Waged by Adidas. Adidas and Thom Browne’s respective striped trademarks “convey sufficient distance in their overall impressions,” according to the EUIPO’s Opposition Division.

5. IP in Consumer Brands & Company Valuations: Implications for M&A. IP assets can provide a substantial portion of the value of a company and can have significant impacts on the funding, growth, and long-term health of that company, as well as the market, itself. 

6. ICYMI … Balenciaga: A Year After It Was Nearly Cancelled, a Look at the State of the Brand. Demand for Balenciaga products increased 7 percent on Lyst [in Q4], which begs the question: Can a fashion brand ever truly be ‘canceled’?”

7. Our Regulating Artificial Intelligence: A Running Tracker of AI Legislation is up to date. One of the latest bills on the list? The No Artificial Intelligence Fake Replicas And Unauthorized Duplications (No AI FRAUD) Act. 

8. Debt, Wage Theft & Coercion Continue to Drive the Global Garment Industry. Most of the industrial grievances that were won by workers and their representatives were, unsurprisingly, collective grievances filed by unions.