Federal Trademark Basics: What You Can Learn From The “New York Fashion Week” Trademark Controversy

A growing controversy over the use of a widely-known phrase in the New York fashion industry is a perfect example of why you need to protect your trade names and marks immediately. If you are fashion-forward, or a New York resident, then you have probably heard of the phrase “New York Fashion Week,” which signifies a week-long grouping of events where designers reveal their latest creations put on by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (“CFDA”) and WME-IMG (formerly known as William Morris Endeavor.) Recently, CFDA and WME-IMG were sued by Fashion Week, Inc. for infringing upon its use of the trademarked phrase “New York Fashion Week.” The lawsuit follows a ruling from earlier this year by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) determining that CFDA and WME-IMG do not have legal rights to the name. In that trademark proceeding, CFDA argued that the trade organization and “its predecessors-in-interest

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IP Infringement vs. Fair Use? Protecting Federal Trademarks in New York State

Seems like a lot of high-profile trademark issues are happening all over New York. A recent federal matter outlines the basics of federal trademark litigation and the arguments a New York business may use to attempt to enforce a trademark against a violator of your trademark. A federal judge in New York State recently ruled that The Car-Freshner Corporation – which makes the pine tree-shaped air fresheners that hang in millions of vehicles across the country –  has demonstrated that it may lay claim to the tree-shaped symbol through its various federal trademark registrations and more than 60 years. Car-Freshner claims that Sun Cedar, a non-profit business based out of Kansas, violated the Lanham Act and New York Law by making and marketing a car air-freshener in the same tree-shape and using a virtually identical symbol that Car-Freshner has registered as its trademark as early as 1961. It further argued

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