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Charles E. Colman

Charles Colman’s Legal Guides

26 total

  • An Introduction to "Design Patents"

    I don't discuss design patents on my blog, LAW OF FASHION, very often. But a high-profile lawsuitover the alleged infringement of three of Lululemon's design patents in multi-waistband yoga pantsrequires that we spend some time on this area of the law. Design patents are proper...

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  • What is a claim for "theft of idea," and (when) is such a claim preempted by the Copyright Act?

    A long time ago, ina blog postfar, far away, this authorwrote about the so-called "idea/expression dichotomy." This core principle of copyright law is embodied in 17 U.S.C.102(b), which states, in part: "In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship ext...

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  • A Brief Introduction to the Law of Musical Sampling

    Musical sampling currently exists in something of a legal grey area, with insufficient guidance from the courts on the boundaries between permissible "borrowing" of prior works and actionable copyright infringement.

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  • "Copyright misuse": The next big defense in IP litigation?

    While Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation may not be the fashion law case of the year (or even, at least superficially, of interest to anyone but intellectual property lawyers), a dispositive decision in Costco's favor, handed down in November 2011 by a California federal ...

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  • Why businesses should avoid potentially "immoral," "scandalous," and "vulgar" trademarks

    As Racked.com reported this morning the phenominally successful stream-of-consciousness Tumblr Fuck Yeah Menswear has scored a book deal. But while congratulations are certainly due to the blog's owner, s/he might also deserve our concern. (Longtime readers of my blog, http://l...

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  • Everything you need to know about the 8/10/11 landmark ruling in Louboutin v. YSL

    One recent fashion law case towers over all others in its importance and heel height. That case, of course, isChristian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America, which I haveblogged about onLAWOFFASHIONinexhaustive, exhausting detail. (Quick plug for the new, officialLAWOFFAS...

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  • Louboutin v. YSL: Highlights from the lipstick-red battlefield

    If there's one case fashion lawyers -- who are now part of a "movement"! -- are watching closely, it's Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America, Inc. This case is a veritable buffet of delicious fashion law issues, including some that are, at least arguably, of "fir...

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  • An introduction to Canadian trademark law, with fashion lawyer Ashlee Froese

    In light of apparel retailer Target's widely publicized, but legally fraught, expansion into Canada, I felt it was high time to hear from a lawyer on the other side of the border. So I was fortunate to arrange a virtual interview with Ashlee Froese, an attorney with the Ontario...

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  • "[Clothes] by any other name..." (or "The plight of Jil Sander, Helmut Lang, and Joseph Abboud")

    As Ms. Jil Sander, Mr. Helmut Lang, and especially Mr. Joseph Abboud might tell you (this writer does not claim to know for sure), the use of designers' names as trademarks is a major issue in fashion law. As you have probably read about in the news, several members of the e...

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  • Hermes v. Thursday Friday (a/k/a "The Birkin Tote case") in a nutshell

    For those not active on the fashion blog circuit, the parties in the highly publicized case of Herms v. Thursday Friday have reached a settlement. The dispute hinged on a $35 tote bearing an image of a $6000 Birkin bag: Good clean fun, or improper free-riding? Looks like the ...

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