New “.cfd” Domain Extension Tailored to Capture the Virtual Runway

By Michelle Hon Donovan and Anjuli M. Cargain

ShortDot, a domain name registry company, has announced the launch of .cfd (#ClothingFashionDesign), a specialized generic top-level domain (gTLD) for clothing brands, fashion designers, retailers, influencers, bloggers, consumers and lifestyle ecommerce stores. TLDs were developed in the 1980s and have unique purposes (e.g., .com, commercial; .org, nonprofit organizations; .net, network and internet-related organizations; .edu, educational; .gov, government entities). ShortDot’s webpage for registering the new domain states:

By providing a memorable, unique, and relevant web address, .CFD offers clothing, fashion, cosmetics, and footwear brands and designers a unique opportunity to strengthen their web presence.

Trademark owners can register .cfd domain names during the “sunrise period,” which ends April 12, 2021. Continue reading “New “.cfd” Domain Extension Tailored to Capture the Virtual Runway”

Fashion Companies Targeted by Animal Rights Groups

Michelle C. Pardo, partner and team lead for the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Branded Products Industry Group, is quoted in a Fashion Law article about animal rights groups focusing litigation on certain fashion companies.

From the publication:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is threatening Louis Vuitton with a lawsuit over allegedly “false claims” that the company’s chairman and CEO made in an interview in September. According to a letter addressed to Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO Michael Burke on Monday, legal counsel for the animal rights group “demands” that Burke “immediately end [his] false representations that the animals used for Louis Vuitton products ‘are humanely farmed.’” Such comments amount to “fraud,” PETA Foundation deputy general counsel Jared Goodman asserts, citing a potential “consumer fraud action” against the luxury goods company as a result. […]

“In recent years, animal rights groups have focused their litigation efforts on companies that they perceive are popular with consumers and are delivering messages to consumers about positive animal welfare, environmental stewardship and the production of ethically-sourced products,” according to [Ms. Pardo]. “Animal rights groups view this type of labeling and marketing as a threat to their mission. If consumers feel good about the products that they buy, they are less likely to abandon meat, dairy and other products” – including exotic-skinned luxury handbags – “that are eschewed by many animal rights activists.”

To read the full article, visit the Fashion Law website.

How to Build Relationships with Influencers (Part 2)

Christiane Campbell, partner and team lead of Duane Morris’ Fashion, Retail and Consumer Branded Products Industry Group, and Victoria Danta, Duane Morris attorney, authored the Fashion Mannuscript article, “How to Build Relationships with Influencers (Part 2).”

They write:

The first part of this article discussed corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how brands and businesses should be mindful in forming partnerships.

In building an influencer partnership, being reactive, as well as proactive, is key. Respond to potential partners that reach out to you while proactively researching potential partners with whom you would like to form a relationship. Have concrete ideas about what you would want to gain from such a relationship before entering it.

If this sounds a bit like dating (or online dating), that is not surprising. A brand-influencer partnership is, quite literally, a relationship that requires investment. In considering how best to invest, also consider which influencers on which platforms are most likely to be able to reach your consumers and form authentic, credible connections with them.

Read the full article.

How to Build Relationships with Influencers (Part 1)

Christiane Campbell, partner and team lead of Duane Morris’ Fashion, Retail and Consumer Branded Products Industry Group, and Victoria Danta, Duane Morris attorney, authored the Fashion Mannuscript article, “How to Build Relationships with Influencers (Part 1).”

They write:

What do The Marlboro Man and The Most Interesting Man in the World have in common? They are fictional characters, created in the board room, to shape consumer brand preferences. What do these two fictional characters have in common with the Kardashian sisters? Arguably, they are all “influencers.”

In advertising, an influencer is any individual, celebrity, character or persona perceived by consumers as having specialized knowledge, authority or insight into a particular subject, making them ideal launch pads for brands or new products. While influencers of the past were created by marketing execs, most modern-day influencers are celebrities, bloggers and other content creators with whom consumers feel an authentic connection.

Read the full article.

Protecting Your Brand and Customers During a Pandemic, Part 2

This post was co-authored by Duane Morris partner Alain Villeneuve and patent agent Nicole Candelori, and it is the second installment of a multipart series. 

In Tuesday’s post, we helped you diagnose and address the misuse of your brand as part of a website’s URL address. We hope this was useful. Recently, because of some desperation to sell low-quality goods, there has also been a dramatic increase in the misuse of leading brand names to sell infringing and/or counterfeit goods. The brand names are often used as part of a longer semi-descriptive name of a product on an online retailer site. We have also observed these brand violations on fully structured websites and in social media ads that draw to these pages. As part of these websites, your brand could be used somewhat descriptively in the title, in part of the product description text, in strangely frequent occurrences in the reviews, or simply in a comparison. Use of your mark, sprinkled on webpages, helps internet search engines find this abuser’s page, and these uses are most often illegal. Continue reading “Protecting Your Brand and Customers During a Pandemic, Part 2”

The Spa Industry Will Find Offering CBD Products Can Be Tricky

Duane Morris associate Kelly Bonner shares legal insight on CBD products and services in the January issue of DaySpa magazine.

From the publication:

  1. Consider the source. CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana, which have different definitions in U.S. law and are subject to different statutory and regulatory requirements. Hemp-derived CBD products are not illegal to sell and possess under federal law, as long as they contain no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana has more than 0.3 percent THC, and is a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
  2. Get proof. Given the current lack of federal testing requirements for CBD products, it can be difficult to ensure that those purchased from third-party vendors contain no more than the permitted level of THC. So it’s extremely important that spas get anything containing CBD from a trustworthy supplier who can verify ingredients, confirm THC levels with third-party labs and/or provide certifi cates of analysis.
  3. Act locally. While the 2018 Farm Bill lifted the federal ban on the commercial cultivation of hemp and derivatives that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, the ability to manufacture, market and sell CBD products is still heavily regulated at the state level, and changing rapidly.
  4. Make no promises. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warning letters to a number of CBD companies that have touted their products as having certain health benefi ts in their promotional materials and on packaging or websites. Spas should ensure that any products or services offered don’t come with false or misleading claims.
  5. Handle with care. Although research into the risks of CBD use is ongoing, the FDA has noted potential adverse health effects linked to the use of cannabis products containing THC by pregnant or lactating women. Even though CBD topicals typically contain very low levels of THC, spas should be up front with clients about potential risks.

To read the full text, read the January issue of DaySpa magazine.

Nanette Heide Comments on the Future of Private Equity Firms and Small Beauty Brands

Nanette Heide, Duane Morris partner and Fashion/Retail/Consumer Branded Products Group senior advisory partner, is quoted in Glossy article, “Private Equity Firms Will Get Comfortable With Small Beauty Brands in 2020.”

“The trend will be private equity companies getting involved in brands earlier and taking on a minority stake versus majority control,” she said. “They’ll blur the lines of venture capital in order to make sure they are in early enough, because then brands can catch fire and sell within 16 months.”

To read the full article, visit the Glossy website.

The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Fashion Brands

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not new. However, the relevance of CSR to brand valuation for investors and other stakeholders is increasing exponentially year after year. As a new generation of talent and consumers becomes increasingly more “woke” (read: aware) to environmental, political, and social issues, CSR becomes a critical factor in increasing—or diminishing—brand value. This is particularly relevant in the fashion industry where sustainability and other hot-button political and social issues have come to the forefront.

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably hearing about CSR from a variety of sources, multiple times a day. Indeed, almost every recent issue of Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) features news about what fashion brands are doing (or not doing) to embrace sustainability. Brands that refuse to embrace CSR face potential diminution in value or, even worse, the slow and painful death known as irrelevance.

To read more visit the Duane Morris website.

Contaminated Cosmetics: Recalls, Lawsuits and Legislation

In recent months, reports of asbestos-contaminated cosmetics have illustrated the enduring challenges of manufacturing and marketing cosmetics as safe for consumers, particularly teens, children and expectant mothers. This is especially true where still-developing science, emotion and rapidly disseminated information (and misinformation) all play critical roles in shaping public perception, even influencing jury outcomes.

This article explores the potential legal challenges for supply chain participants arising from contaminated cosmetics, as well as significant proposals to change the way the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates cosmetic safety.

The Relationship Between Talc and Asbestos

Talc, also known as talcum or magnesium silicate, is a naturally occurring silicate mineral mined from underground deposits. Because talc is the softest mineral known to man, it has been used in cosmetics manufacturing for centuries.

To read more visit the Duane Morris website.