This week in fashion law:, the war on Gaga, and knockoff religious garb (believe it)

Posted by Charles Colman

After doing LAW OF FASHION's first fashion law roundup last Friday, this writer decided the format sort of worked.  The fashion website Styleite agreed, and will be publishing condensed versions of these weekly recaps in the form of a Friday column called "Catwalk Justice."  (My apologies to any strippers whose name was inadvertently borrowed.)  So without further ado, here are some of the more colorful fashion law stories that made headlines -- or tiny print at the bottom of obscure websites -- this week: 

  • Congress has been unusually focused on apparel industry issues recently.  Three recent bills would create grants for research on innovation in textiles, facilitate apparel trade between the U.S. and the Philippines, and -- randomly -- curb the Department of Defense's textile purchases (for military uniforms, combat footwear, etc.) from Federal Prison Industries, a government-owned corporation staffed by prisoners, which fashion industry groups claim has taken too great a market share from the private sector.

  • Speaking of the Philippines, that country's government made a very public showing this week of its commitment to anti-counterfeiting by destroying (with armored vehicle tires and knives) millions of dollars worth of counterfeit goods, including Louis Vuitton bags and Oakley sunglasses.  The country has been trying to escape a U.S. list of intellectual property violators since at least 2006 -- so far, with limited success.  Keep on keepin' on, mga kaibigan ko.


  • Finally, at opposite ends of the piety spectrum, Rihanna has been sued (again) for allegedly lifting copyrighted imagery to use in her music video for the song "S&M," while The General Council of the Assemblies of God was awarded over $6 million in its suit against a website selling knockoff religious garb that infringed the trademark rights of the Pentecostal Christian Ministry.  For those still tethered to their desks so painfullly close to the now-imminent long weekend, you can read up on the legal issues in the Rihanna music video dispute here (from the first time around); as for the church lawsuit, I'm just going to say res ipsa loquitur -- "the thing speaks for itself."  At least, that's my final word on the subject for now, since my zipcar isn't going to drive itself out of the city.  Happy holiday weekend!


[This post is for entertainment and informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship among any individuals or entities.  Any views expressed herein are those of the writer on the particular date of this post, and should not necessarily be attributed to his law firm or its clients.]