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M&A and Legal

Macy’s and (now Sequential Brand Group’s) Martha Stewart make up with a renewal of their 10-year partnership. Macy’s is the exclusive retailer for the Martha Stewart Collection brand that covers over 1,000 SKUs. The partners were previously embroiled in a 5-year legal dispute after JCPenney made a deal for Martha-branded bed, bath and kitchen products as its exclusive deal with Macy’s was set to expire. JCPenney paid $3.5 million in damages to Macy’s while former owner of the brand, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, settled separately.

Hasbro submits an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the distinctive scent of Play-Doh. The toyco previously partnered with the Demeter Fragrance Library in 2008 to create an ‘eau de Play-Doh’ perfume marking the putty’s 50th anniversary. Although rare, creators can successfully trademark scents in the U.S.—the process is practically impossible in the EU. Hasbro will begin making Play-Doh in the U.S. again in 2018 with a new factory to complement existing manufacturing in China and Turkey.

Disney buys MakieLab, a London-based startup that sells 3D printed custom dolls.

Penguin Random House U.K., Frederick Warne, and Columbia Pictures team up to develop a new live-action/CGI hybrid motion picture inspired by Peter Rabbit.

Giorgio Armani is the latest amongst fashion giants—including Burberry, Marc Jacobs, and Donna Karan—to consolidate its brands. Only the Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange names will be used. The move will theoretically reduce brand hierarchy, expand price ranges, and reduce reliance on licensing.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic ambassadors, to be featured on official merchandise and promotions, are all anime characters rather than mascots. The group includes Sailor Moon, Luffy (One Piece), Naruto, Goku (Dragon Ball Z), Cure Miracle and Cure Magical (Maho Girls PreCure), Astro Boy, Shin-chan, and Jibanyan (Yo-Kai Watch).

Roblox, the social play platform with over 48 million active players, will now allow its 1.7 million game creators to earn $140,000 a month from sharing their creations. Jazwares is the brand’s toy partner.

Studio Fun Intl. is back in the licensing business after the imprint was acquired by Printers Row Publishing Group. Licensors including Disney (with Marvel and Lucasfilm), Nickelodeon, Hasbro, ASPCA, Mattel, Sesame Workshop, and DreamWorks Animation are working to transition their licenses to the new owner.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) forges a five-year partnership with Suntchi Brand & Technology Co. Ltd., a full-service management company, to create a gateway connecting China’s premiere business network and brand platform with U.S.-based fashion labels and designers. Through the partnership, CFDA’s 500+ membership will have unrestricted access to the Chinese market, including introductions to Chinese designers, brands, and licensing agents.


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