Feeling the Burn

Unlike copyright and trade-marks, we don’t often see fashion houses duke it out in the patent arena.  It’s no surprise that the fashion world’s interest was piqued when one of Canada’s most successful athletic retailers, Lululemon, launched a patent design infringement case against Calvin Klein in the US.

 

For those who had their bottle of bubbly chilled waiting for the outcome of the case, it appears that the bottle will stay corked. Lululemon filed its Notice of Voluntary Dismissal today against Calvin Klein. It’s a pretty safe bet that the parties settled the matter – likely under confidential terms.  Although reaching a settlement is often the most cost effective and time efficient route for companies that are embroiled in litigation, it always presents a missed opportunity to set interesting case law for the fashion community.

 

Stay tuned to CanadaFashionLaw for updates on other interesting cases.

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Be It Resolved: IP Really Is Everywhere!

Relishing the opportunity to watch smart, meaningful and intelligent debate, CanadaFashionLaw has been seriously enjoying the US election debates.  Imagine our delight when intellectual property laws and counterfeiting snuck into the second presidential debate, albeit for a few precious seconds.  It got us thinking…what is the significance of a country’s domestic intellectual property laws?

Intellectual property laws are critical to businesses.  Intellectual property laws protect significant business assets.  They protect ingenuity, creativity, inventiveness…the list goes on and on.  At the end of the day, intellectual property laws enhance entrepreneurship, which can only encourage the private sector to flourish and thus benefit a country’s economy.

But not all countries treat intellectual property the same and this can significantly impact the private sector’s decision making, not only in terms of where the business operates but also in respect of the country in which it chooses to enforce its rights. A country that has weaker intellectual property laws may attracts fewer foreign businesses to those markets. (A previous article on CanadaFashionLaw looked at the business rational behind multi-jurisdictional litigation.)

As fabulous as Canada’s private sector is, Canada needs to attract foreign businesses to help keep the Canadian economy robust.  Strong intellectual property laws can be a carrot to bringing those businesses to our market.  The intellectual property law community recognizes this and wants to work with and advocate for businesses to help shape intellectual property laws that assist businesses flourish in our economy. For example, the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (“IPIC”) ensures that it brings intellectual property law issues to the table at international trade negotiations.  IPIC and your intellectual property law professional are always interested in hearing about the challenges that the private sector faces when launching their business in Canada.

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