During the pandemic, many fashion companies and apparel retailers have spent time in bankruptcy court, generally working out concessions with landlords and lenders.
But beyond those existential legal concerns, which many in the industry will continue to face as the pandemic extends into the new year, fashion will be tracking changes in privacy and intellectual property legislation, monitoring cases whose outcomes will shape how companies apply for and defend trademarks, and bracing for more scrutiny over claims of sustainability.
A case that whiskey brand Jack Daniels is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear could affect fashion brands, if the court takes it up. In that case, Jack Daniels takes issue with a “Bad Spaniels” dog toy that it argues infringes on its brand in the name of humor or parody. The dispute evokes the 2007 dispute between Louis Vuitton and the maker of a “Chewy Vuiton” dog toy.
The “Bad Spaniels” case “could have an impact on the fashion industry where popular and luxury brands frequently face parody defenses,” said James Donoian, partner at McCarter & English LLP.