Rihanna has sued her father for suggesting that a business venture he set up in 2017 is associated with her Fenty brand. The international popstar – real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty- filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles federal court on Tuesday accusing father Ronald Fenty and two of his business partners of fraud and false advertising with his Fenty Entertainment production company.
Rihanna, who uses the Fenty trademark to sell cosmetics, lingerie and sneakers, asked for an injunction to stop her father using the Fenty name, and an unspecified amount of damages.
The lawsuit stated Rihanna had “absolutely no affiliation” with Fenty Entertainment. Fenty Entertainment had accepted a 2017 offer for Rihanna to perform 15 shows in Latin America for $15 million, the lawsuit said, as well as falsely impling that the singer was involved in a hotels project.
The lawsuit states the offenders had repeatedly been told they have no authority to use her name, speak on Rihanna’s behalf, or use the trademark but to no avail.
McDonald’s has lost its European trademark rights for its Big Mac burger after a legal battle with Irish chain Supermac’s ended last week.
Supermac’s brought a case against McDonald’s to the EU Intellectual Property Office two years ago, accusing the fast-food chain of “trademark bullying” to stop Supermac’s from trademarking its own name in the EU, which would allow it to expand beyond Ireland and Northern Ireland.
McDonald’s said Supermac’s name was too close to their Big Mac trademark and would confuse the public. They provided signed affidavits from its executives and examples of adverts and packaging to defend its pan-EU trademark. However, EU regulators ruled that McDonald’s had not proven genuine use of the “Big Mac” trademark over the five years prior to the case application in 2017, and so was not using the trademark according to EU law.
The ruling takes effect immediately, but McDonald’s plan to appeal the decision.
Costco was ordered to pay $25 million dollars for using the Tiffany & Co. name for selling unauthorized branded Tiffany diamond engagement rings. The New York-based jewellery company has been in and out of court with the multinational retail corporation since February 2013, when Tiffany filed a suit which alleged Costco customers bought engagement rings under the impression they were authentic Tiffany products.
The case has been going back and forth before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which featured a jury trial win for Tiffany in 2015. Costco argued “Tiffany” is a generic word for a ring’s setting, but its use of the jewellery company’s name was found to be invalid.
The lower court’s case in August 2017 held that Tiffany & Co was entitled to a minimum of $19.4 million in damages from Costco. The New York federal judge also determined that Tiffany deserves $11.1 million, plus interest, for Costco’s trademark infringement.
Costco was also ordered to turn over $8.25 million in punitive damages, as awarded by the jury, for “willfully” using the trademark-protected “Tiffany” name to describe the rings’.
Costco’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals was lodged in September 2017, was back in court this week, not only receiving a refusal to reduce the amount that Costco owes to Tiffany, but the amount was actually increased by nearly $6 million to cover Tiffany’s legal costs. A decision was made to decline to order a new trial. However, the case will now proceed before a 3-judge panel for the Second Circuit, following a year-long hold in the appeals process while the lower court determined a number of post-trial issues.
Amazon is being sued for allegedly copying one of Williams-Sonoma’s protected chair designs. Williams-Sonoma filled a trademark and design patent infringement lawsuit in a federal court in California against the American e-commerce giant.
With its “cutout back, and curved, scooped-back frame,” along with similar language used to depict its chair, Amazon has also given its product a similar “Orb” name. Amazon has been marketing and offering these similar chairs for a lower-priced.
Williams-Sonoma is seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief for breaking trademark law, and brand and confusion amongst consumers for displaying unauthorized Williams-Sonoma-branded storefront on its website and misrepresenting itself as an authorized seller of the company’s products.
This is one of many suits Amazon has faced in connection with its private labels. In April, the company was sued by Seven For All Mankind International for “egregious, willful and wanton activities” in connection with Seven’s Ella Moss label.
New research findings by Red Points, the Barcelona-based company offering the leading all in one SaaS solution for detecting and enforcing online IP infringements, shows that 1 in 3 shoppers would stop buying an electronic brand if they found fakes online. Furthermore, 15% of respondents said they would switch to a competitor or alternative as a result, which would directly affect brands’ sales.
This comes as Red Points’ analysts identified an average 20% increase in the number of IP infringements for its consumer electronics clients in the run-up to Christmas. Meanwhile, headphones, smartphones and cameras scored among the most popular items shoppers had accidentally bought a fake version of in the past.
With the consumer electronics industry projected to reach a global value of $1.7 billion in the next 5 years, growing strongly at around 6% per year, the industry has been plagued by design, trademark and patent infringements from low-cost imitation products in recent years.
The report highlights that the majority of shoppers (54%) are concerned about the problem of fake consumer electronics goods, whilst just over half of participants said they would find a brand less desirable if they became aware there were lots of fakes of this brand. This shows a clear undermining of brand value in the opinion of the consumer. This loss of brand value is then shown in the effects of fakes on buying behavior; only 11% stated they would not change their buying behavior after finding fakes online.
An additional concern for brands is that in the event a consumer does buy a fake, half will warn their social circle, and 26% would complain on social media, spreading the negative effects of counterfeits beyond the individual consumer.
Commenting on the survey findings, Laura Urquizu, Red Points´CEO, said: “With the holiday season right around the corner, brands need to do more to protect their consumers against online counterfeiters. It’s loud and clear from our report that fake consumer electronics, the fastest growing category of counterfeited good and one of the most popular category for shoppers to buy Christmas gift this year, have a tremendous economic impact on brands but also undermines companies hard-earned reputation.”