Category Archives: Luxury Law

Apple May Gain High Fashion Ground with Former Saint Laurent CEO

Paul_DeneveBy Caroline Lau, Staff Writer, AMD LAW

Apple announced last Tuesday that Paul Deneve, who stepped down as CEO of luxury fashion house Saint Laurent to take up his new position, is joining Apple as vice president of “special projects”, the specifics of which are still under wraps. The company stated that Deneve would report directly to its CEO, Tim Cook. In the 1990s, Deneve worked at Apple Europe in sales and marketing, while his distinguished fashion credentials include high level positions at fashion houses Nina Ricci and Lanvin.

This recent move by Apple, following so soon after news of its international efforts to register trademarks for the “iWatch” in numerous countries, has industry watchers speculating that perhaps Deneve will be involved in the design and marketing of the tech company’s rumored impending ‘smart watch’. Putting two and two together, having Deneve on board might signal a push in the direction of ‘wearable technology’ that consumers would actually want to wear, if a high-end pedigree is attached to the high-tech product. This would definitely be in line with Apple’s reputation for their sleek, minimalist style and user-friendly design.

Deneve’s brand of business sense may also help him fit right in with the heads behind Apple, which saw a major turnaround in the 2000s and has since been firmly established as a top player in the tech industry worldwide, especially after the introduction of the iconic iPhone. Last year, the longstanding Yves Saint Laurent name was changed to simply Saint Laurent for YSL’s high fashion line (although the beauty line still retains the ‘Yves’ in its label). The alteration was made under the direction of designer and photographer, Hedi Slimane, as the new creative director, along with a new logo. Deneve was responsible for Slimane’s hiring, and so was instrumental in injecting the brand’s image with a more youthful style. If Deneve will really be part of a smart watch project at Apple, his experience in the fashion business would lend an edge to marketing electronic devices with ready-to-wear appeal.

Crossing technology with fashion historically has not yielded any game-changing results for either industry, but perhaps with the advent of the smart watch or wearable technology in general, creative minds and innovators will find a way to break new ground. In any case, technological advancements and novel designs means even greater significance will be put on intellectual property protection and practices.

If you have an extravagant, extraordinary or exclusive product or service in need of legal protection, contact Luxury Law Firm.

Sources:

Time. July 3, 2013. Apple Taps Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve As a VP. Retrieved on July 9, 2013 from http://style.time.com/2013/07/03/apple-taps-saint-laurent-ceo-paul-deneve-as-a-vp/

CMS Wire. July 3, 2013. Apple Hires Fashion Guru; World Awaits Next Move. Retrieved on July 9, 2013 from http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/apple-hires-fashion-guru-world-awaits-next-move-021615.php

Image source: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Paul_Deneve.jpeg

Trademark dispute between Will.i.am and Pharrell

Pharrell.Will.i.amAlthough will.i.am has denied that he is filing a lawsuit against Pharrell, the dispute between the two music heavyweights over the use of the phrase “I am” is ongoing. According to a lawyer for will.i.am, Pharrell’s proposed trademark for the phrase “I am OTHER” to be used as a logo for a clothing brand is too similar to his registered trademark “I am”. The argument is that registering Pharrell’s proposed trademark would dilute the trademark will.i.am already has.

A statement obtained from Pharrell on the matter reveals that the singer-songwriter finds the rapper’s allegations “meritless and ridiculous”, and it is possible that will.i.am may be unsuccessful in defending his case. Apparently, there are 1,785 active trademarks that include the phrase “I am” in the US Patent and Trademark Office online database. Will.i.am also has not released a new clothing line under his i am clothing label since fall 2011, but while “I am” trademark may not be in current commercial use for his clothing line in accordance with US trademark law for viability, one of will.i.am’s lawyers, Ken Hertz, affirms that the rapper is not suing Pharrell and states that he uses his trademarked “I am” phrase in a number of commercial and philanthropic endeavors.

A lawyer for Pharrell, Brad Rose, sent out a statement supporting Pharrell’s earlier statement declaring that the singer had tried on many occasion to “talk things out” with will.i.am over the issue on more amicable terms than the present legal actions will.i.am is taking seem to demonstrate. Rose maintains that will.i.am does not have the sole rights to the phrase “I am” in commerce as evinced by the many other trademarks that contain those two words.

It will be interesting to see how this case plays out between the musicians, both of whom have significant playtime on popular radio these days and are major music producers themselves, especially because the intellectual property dispute is not about creative music work but arises from the expansion of both artists’ businesses into other industries of clothing and fashion.

If you have an extravagant, extraordinary or exclusive product or service in need of legal protection, contact Luxury Law Firm.

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Sources:

The Wall Street Journal. (June 28, 2013). Musicians Will.i.am, Pharrell Williams Hit Sour Notes in Trademark Dispute. Retrieved on June 28, 2013 from http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/06/28/will-i-am-and-pharrell-williams-at-odds-over-trademark/

Time. (June 27, 2013). Will.i.am Threatens to Sue Pharrell Over Use of Phrase “I Am”. Retrieved on June 28, 2013 from http://entertainment.time.com/2013/06/27/will-i-am-threatens-to-sue-pharrell-over-use-of-phrase-i-am/

Photo: Getty Images