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Share sale or asset sale? How to structure the sale of your brand

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Founders of fashion brands choose to sell their businesses for a variety of reasons. So far, 2018 has been a year of stark contrasts for the industry - with the long announced death of the high street we are seeing both small independent labels and larger...

Eight weeks to go until the GDPR comes into force - are you ready? And if not what should you be doing?

Laura Monro
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The collection and use of personal data is a daily occurrence for fashion businesses. Personal data is processed when, for example, a consumer logs in to their online account, makes a purchase online, or is sent promotional material by the retailer. Personal...

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog

Stephen Sidkin
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For suppliers persistence is key In last month’s blog I discussed how a distributor whose distributorship agreement is terminated can protect itself given that distributors (unlike commercial agents) do not receive special protection under English...

Nothing beats a LDNR...except a trade mark: Nike slapped with interim injunction over its latest campaign

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The injunction granted a few days by an English Court to  LNDR  to stop Nike’s use of LDNR in its current promotional campaign serves as a salutary reminder of the need to undertake trade mark searches prior to launching ad campaigns and the...

EU Withdrawal Treaty - IP provisions

Simon Bennett
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Finally there is hope on the horizon: the European Commission has proposed that all registered EU trade marks and designs should automatically convert to UK national rights after Brexit.   The proposal is contained in the EU’s draft...

Adidas successfully blocks two stripe EU trade mark

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Adidas has been successful in yet another stage of its journey to block its trainer rival, Shoe Branding, from registering two stripes on a plain trainer as an EU trade mark.  Adidas has an earlier trade mark for three stripes which slant in the...

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog

Stephen Sidkin
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For distributors, possession is nine-tenths of the law. Distributors (unlike commercial agents) do not receive special protection under English law. So how can a distributor whose distributorship agreement is terminated protect itself? The starting point...

Registered design rights - straightforward and cost effective

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Registering a design is a straightforward and relatively inexpensive process. It provides a monopoly in the design of up to 25 years (provided the registration is renewed every five years). The scope of the design depends on, for example, the extent to which...

What's in a red sole? Can the colour red be protected for a red soled shoe?

Simon Bennett
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The Advocate General recently ruled that a trade mark that combines the colour red (or more specifically Pantone 18 1663TP) and shape can be refused or declared invalid. ( Christian Louboutin, Christian Louboutin SAS v Van Haren Schoenen BV (Case -163/16))....

Buying insolvent businesses: the key employment issues

Mark Watson
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Carillion has fallen over in spectacular fashion. Some fashion brands are teetering on the edge of insolvency after poor Christmas trading, exacerbated by the march of on-line competitors and the impact of Amazon’s cheaper (cheap, that is, until they...

Suppliers supply and distributors distribute - a regular blog

Stephen Sidkin
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Businesses change. Distributorship agreements are superseded by events. In a new blog, partner and chair of Fox Williams’ agentlaw team and fashionlaw team, Steve Sidkin, discusses the value of distributorship agreements. Do you regularly review yours?...

Rosie Burbidge writes for INTAs Trademark Reporter The Blockchain is in Fashion

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Blockchain is “the new black”—at least as far as the technology community is concerned. It has been described as the biggest societal change since the Internet. In our new age of cyber threats, blockchain is seen as the solution to many...

The issues of insolvency for fashion businesses and the duties of directors

Paul Taylor
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Every year, Fox Williams LLP is called upon to advise boards and individual directors of fashion clients as to legal issues arising when a company is on the brink of insolvency. Directors are responsible for the day to day running of the company’s...

Shareholder disputes: 10 recent practical lessons

Paul Taylor
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Commercial skill and artistic flair are often strange bedfellows. A situation where the shareholder/managing director of a successful fashion brand wants to go in one direction whilst the shareholder/design director has other ideas is a regular occurrence....

Stephen Sidkin quoted in Equestrian Trade News - Upmarket brands win right to block third party retailing

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Luxury brands are celebrating a landmark judgment of the European Court given last week.  In a case concerning Coty, the court ruled that a clause in the company’s selective distribution agreement prohibiting authorised distributors from using...

Luxury brands and third party platforms - new landmark judgment

Stephen Sidkin
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Luxury brands are celebrating a landmark judgment of the European Court given yesterday. In a case concerning Coty, the European Court ruled that a clause in Coty’s selective distribution agreement prohibiting authorised distributors from using Amazon...

Why price fixing and information sharing matter

Stephen Sidkin
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What do you know about competition law? It is a reasonable question given: a recent survey by the Competition and Markets Authority which found that 50% of fashion companies which took part in the survey stated that their knowledge of competition law was...

Drapers' People Moves section is a must-read for fashionistas - who goes where, and why, helps lubricate fashion industry coffee machine chatter

Mark Watson
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It can also start people musing about restrictive covenants. So when Paul Masters moved from Missguided to In The Style, Adam Chesters left Deckers to join Craghoppers, and Céline Larose jumped ship from Richemont to join Kiki McDonough, thoughts on...

Stephen Sidkin and Sarah Redmond write for CWB online on Fashion, designs and Brexit

Stephen Sidkin
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Fashionlaw chair Stephen Sidkin and senior trademark attorney Sarah Redmond write for CWB online on Fashion, designs and Brexit. To read the full article, please click here ....

Can fashion continue to win private equity confidence?

Paul Taylor
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Matchesfashion.com recently sold a majority stake in the business to private equity fund Apax Partners. Matchesfashion.com is understood to have made choice investment in its technology and design aspects of its business, launching new services (including...

Distributors and agents: maximising their performance and minimising your exposure: seminar with UKFT

Stephen Sidkin
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Stephen Sidkin , Emma Roake  and Rebecca Richardson are speaking at a seminar with UKFT on Tuesday 10 October 2017, "Distributors and agents: maximising their performance and minimising your exposure". Read more and book...

Fashion Law partner Simon Bennett quoted in Drapers on Brexit IP rights and Fashion

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Unitary intellectual property (IP) rights should continue to apply in the UK after Brexit, the European Commission has said in a position paper. “This is good news for the fashion industry,” said Simon Bennett, Fashion Law partner at law firm...

A guide to Brexit for the UK fashion industry

Stephen Sidkin
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In January 2017 Prime Minister May delivered the Government’s 12 point plan for Brexit. On 13 March 2017, the UK Government formally triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and so initiated the process of leaving the European Union and the...

Dress codes in the workplace

Parissa Torabi
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Why are we still concerned about dress codes in the workplace? This should in theory be a fairly straightforward concept, however, the recent highly publicised case of the female agency worker who was sent home without pay because she refused to wear high...

Lululemon sues Under Armour - what the UK approach would be

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Sales of athleisure products are sprinting ahead and fashion and sporting brands are competing with one another to design novel products which allow consumers to be both athletic and fashionable or provide some added benefit to the consumer such as comfort. ...

Concessions - attracting new customers can be a risky business at a time of Brexit uncertainty

Stephen Sidkin
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Q. What links JoJo Maman Bébé, Quiz, and Ted Baker? A. Each of them have been in the news this month with a mention of the brand’s concessions in the story. A retail concession enables a brand to promote its products to the public...

"Guess are at risk if they are found to have contravened the EU rules"- Fashion Law Partner Steve Sidkin quoted in Drapers

Stephen Sidkin
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“If the Commission finds that there has been an infringement of EU competition law, it will be open to the Commission to impose a very substantial fine. In addition, the actions taken by Guess in respect of its distribution agreements may result in...

GDPR: what should HR be doing and how can we help?

Nigel Miller
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The GDPR will substantially impact fashion companies if they collect, process, or transfer EU individuals’ personal data. There is a lot that fashion companies can be doing to prepare for achieving compliance by May 2018, and in many...

Social Media: How to stop misuse of your brand

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What can go wrong? Social media has huge reach and can create viral memes or other content very quickly. However, with great power comes great responsibility. If social media is not properly monitored or controlled, it is possible to lose control of your...

Social media: how to protect your brand

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Social media is essential to the success of fashion brands. It enables direct contact with customers and the ability to craft a much more personal brand identity. Indeed with the rise of integrated sales on platforms like Facebook, in addition to publicity...

The online channel: round table with UKFT

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Stephen Sidkin, Nigel Miller, Rosie Burbidge and Laura Monro are hosting a round table with UKFT, 16 May 2017, on "The online channel: making it work legally for your brand".  Read more and book here . The contents of this article are...

Agents and distributors: the issues of confidential commercial information and personal data

Stephen Sidkin
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The UK is one of the world’s most advanced digital economies and this is both a strength and a weakness, according to a report on BBC News on 13 February 2017. Are you reading this newsletter comfortably? But who else is reading it? More particularly,...

Employment status in the fashion industry

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HMRC is going into a number of fashion businesses seeking to challenge the status of certain individuals ostensibly engaged on a self-employed basis. Arguably this should not be a surprise. Employment status is changing with the rise of the gig economy,...

Slogans in fashion - how to avoid the "I'm sorry I infringed your rights" t-shirt

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The latest catwalk season is almost over and the new fashion trend appears to be slogans. Although people have used fashion to project statements for many years, the use of fashion to project political messages and voices of dissatisfaction with...

Working with Distributors and Agents - seminar

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Stephen Sidkin, Emma Roake and Rebecca Richardson are speaking at the UKFT seminar 'Working with Distributors and Agents: how to get it right' on 4th April. Read more here:  Working with Distributors and Agents: how to get it right ...

View from Regent Street

Elizabeth Ruff
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The position under English law has differing aspects, (and certainly uses a different legal language) but is similar. It is true that this could be an issue which is unique to the circumstances in which these retail tenants find themselves, but it raises...

View from Fifth Avenue: Checkpoint on the world's most expensive retail street: when Presidential security interferes with revenue and the customer experience

Elizabeth Ruff
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The secondary residence of U.S. President Donald Trump is located in the eponymous skyscraper that bears his name located in an area of Upper Fifth Avenue in New York City, at the apex of the most important and most expensive shopping district in the Western...

Gender Pay Reporting - the Final Regulations

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In the season of good will to all men, large fashion employers will need to start work to identify their gender pay gaps and improve the pay disadvantage faced by female employees. We have been waiting for the final Gender Pay Reporting Regulations...

A rates revaluation fashion retailers could do without

Elizabeth Ruff
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To say that the new draft rateable values released last month by the Valuation Office Agency have not been welcomed by fashion businesses across the UK would be a considerable understatement. This comes as no surprise given that from 1 April 2017 many...

UK design rights are at risk

Simon Bennett
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Fashion Law Partner Simon Bennett quoted in Drapers’  ‘Brexit  Agenda’  "At the moment, UK fashion businesses can register an EU trademark or design right and it protects them in all 28 union countries. Once we...

Exploits in fashion: collective muscle

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Reports earlier this month, strongly denied by Asos, of difficult working conditions in its contracted out warehousing operations illustrate a number of risks which arise for fashion businesses when it comes to staff and outsourcing issues. These reports...

Diamonds can be forever, and so can domain names as De Beers defeats domain name piracy

Simon Bennett
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Trade mark piracy has existed for decades. With the development of the online channel, piracy has extended to the use of a brand owner’s domain names in bad faith.  But very recently, in a ruling of the first of its kind, De Beers succeeded in...

Cool heads and steady hands required

Stephen Sidkin
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Eric  Musgrave   Consultant to the Fox Williams Fashion Law Group A couple of years ago I was privileged to interview Bernard Lewis, patriarch of the family that owns River Island, at a private industry dinner. This legendary and reclusive...

Fox Williams mentor wearable tech start-ups as part of the Top Pitch programme

Stephen Sidkin
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Fox Williams were invited on 11 July 2016 to be a mentor as part of the Top Pitch programme, a start-up accelerator programme for wearable technologies launched by Topshop in collaboration with corporate innovation specialist LMarks. The programme was...

UK approves blocking injunctions against ISPs to stop counterfeit TM goods

Simon Bennett
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The Court of Appeal confirmed on 6 July 2016 in Cartier v BSkyB that internet service providers or ISPs such as BT, Sky or Virgin Media can be ordered to block access to websites selling trade mark infringing goods. This is an important...

Brexiting: the future of fashion, or a fashionable Brexit?

Stephen Sidkin
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Then the fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun and moon and stars were struck. A third of the stars were darkened, a third of the day was without light, and a third of the night as well. [Revelation 8:12] And yet… since the...

Are you geo-blocking your customers?

Laura Monro
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Geo-blocking is the practice used by online sellers to restrict or deny access to websites from other countries. For example, a consumer from another country may be rerouted from a brand’s main website to the consumer’s country specific website,...

Raising finance - crowdfunding for the wearable tech industry

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Today, many start-ups are looking to crowdfunding as a source of finance. Crowdfunding has helped entrepreneurs in the wearables space raise money and accelerate their businesses without having to agree to onerous terms with commercial banks. It has...

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