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Licensing Law

On Notice: Sportswear, Organics & Bankruptcy Updates

Contact the editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com

Puma’s latest sneaker designs are coming under fire from In-N-Out Burger in a trademark lawsuit, with the fast-food restaurant alleging “essentially identical” elements like palm tree motifs as well as contrasting red and yellow accents in its Cali-0 Drive Thru and California Drive Thru CC shoes “causing consumers to incorrectly believe Puma’s products are associated with or authorized by In-N-Out.” In-N-Out is demanding Puma cease production and is seeking unspecified damages including profits from the sneakers.

Adidas is sinking further into its own trademark spat; a judge denied the sportswear company’s motion to dismiss an infringement case. Abraham Verti Levy sued Adidas in 2018 over his “You’re Never Done”/YND marks. Levy alleged that he sought to license the marks for promotional use through Agron, Adidas’ exclusive licensing agency, but that a deal never materialized and that the sportswear company soon copied the concept with its global “Never Done” campaign. In dismissing the case, the judge noted that Adidas’ “primary defense … appears to be that it only used [Levy’s] marks abroad.” U.S. law protects trademark owners against infringing acts done outside the country in certain circumstances.

The Organic Trade Association launches an industry-driven program to help provide businesses with a process for developing and implementing fraud mitigation measures. The trade association estimates that the global organic market is now at almost $90 billion, with America accounting for close to $50 billion across all products. Organic imports into the U.S. totaled around $2.1 billion in 2017, up nearly 25% from the previous year.

Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree Group sells its Gymboree and Crazy 8 brands to The Children’s Place for $76 million and its Janie and Jack clothing line to Gap for $35 million. The deals are subject to approval by the bankruptcy court; Gymboree filed for Chapter 11 in January and is planning on closing about 800 stores in the U.S./Canada.

Digital media firm Mythical Entertainment paid out roughly $10 million to acquire Smosh from the bank that assumed Defy Media’s assets in the wake of its sudden bankruptcy. The flagship Smosh channel (24.1 million subscribers) will join Mythical’s crown jewel, the daily talk show Good Mythical Morning (15.1 million subscribers). Mythical has re-hired 15 of Smosh’s original performers and producers and is building up a 30-strong creative team to help ramp up output.

Meanwhile, Hearst Magazines is readying the re-launch of Clevver, which it also acquired from Defy Media, with the opening of a 20,000 sq. ft. studio in Los Angeles. CA. Video content for other Hearst titles like Cosmopolitan and Elle will also be produced in the new studio, as well as original Hearst TV series. Heart also rehired key staffers to oversee forthcoming productions, which are expected to resume in two weeks.

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