The case against Dillard’s we noted earlier this month, and the one against Saks a while back, are no outliers: “Just in the past seven years, the Hells Angels have brought more than a dozen cases in federal court, alleging infringement on apparel, jewelry, posters and yo-yos.” [New York Times]
“Hells Angels is suing 8732 Apparel and Dillard’s Inc. in federal court, claiming trademark infringement of its famous skull-with-wings logo known as the Hells Angels Death Head.” [My San Antonio] The U.S. Department of Justice along with various state law enforcement agencies have deemed the celebrated motorcycle gang to be an organized criminal enterprise.
In cease-and-desist letters, the NSA and DHS have moved to squash satirical use of their insignia in connection with t-shirts and mugs saying things like “The NSA: The Only Part of Government That Actually Listens” [Paul Alan Levy]
“A retirement fund for police and firefighters in Florida is suing Lululemon Athletica Inc., taking issue with a decision by Lululemon’s compensation committee to boost the maximum payout of the executive bonus plan just before a $60 million recall of yoga pants.” [New York Post]
Kerri Smith came up with a new design for a maternity support pillow and decided to sell it online. Then came the unpleasant surprise: 15 states require “law tags” on pillows and each charges its own fee, ranging from $5 to $720 a year. First year cost of complying with those state laws in order to start taking orders from anywhere in the country: $4,660. And that’s before more states join the 15 that currently exact fees. [Becket Adams, The Blaze/WTAM] As for a pillow intended for the actual baby, don’t even ask.
Columnist Debra Saunders quotes me on the Federal Trade Commission’s extraction of $40 million from a shoe maker for hyping its sneakers in its ads. As Saunders points out, we rely on Washington, D.C. for help on issues like this since if there’s anything the political class is earnestly opposed to, it’s overpromising. [San Francisco Chronicle]
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stands guard against them. [Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids]
And helps in avoiding heels too: “That’s the best way: You just get on with the whole thing. Never mind suing anyone. And just do something different.” — NYT’s Bill Cunningham on the Louboutin trademark litigation over red soles on fashion shoes (via Ann Althouse, who now offers an all-law-blog option).
Over its alleged fashion use of the Angels’ trademarked “death’s-head” image [Legal Blog Watch]
According to Felix Salmon, the company that owns the trademark in most countries on “Ugg” for sheep-fleece footwear has used it in “extremely aggressive” fashion against competitors, most particularly against exports from Australia where the term is generic and small firms have produced boots and shoes under similar names for many years.