Intellectual Property & Fashion Law – Highlights in First Part of Entertainment Sports Law Conference


In the fashion industry, attention to the ebb and flow of hemlines and seasonal color palettes is far outpaced by rigorous attention to intellectual property protections and legal actions against counterfeiting actors internationally, Danielle Garno said at Miami Law's Global Entertainment & Sport Conference.

The Greenberg Traurig shareholder added, “Unfortunately, when it comes to fashion law, there is a group of people who believe copying spurs creativity and they have been active in opposing legislation that would give designers more protection in their designs.”

Garno was joined on the Fashion Law Panel at the conference by Laura Ganoza, a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP; Meredith Mendez, a partner at Malloy & Malloy, P.L.; and Laure Sawaya, J.D. '14, IP, commercial and compliance counsel at Vince.

The panelists provided a discussion about the legal side of the fashion industry and the new laws that are impacting this niche segment. The speakers addressed Federal Trade Commission guidelines for social media influencing and advertising, as well as e-commerce, trademark infringement, and anti-counterfeit initiatives.

“It is very difficult to obtain intellectual property rights in design because fashion is functional. It doesn’t matter how fancy or expensive a sweater is – its purpose is to keep you warm," emphasized Garno, "but designers can protect their work by using copyright, trademark/trade dress and patents. Since fashion cycles move quickly, sometimes it may not be worth the time and expense to establish trade dress or patent.”

The conference also spotlighted entertainment law and the entertainment industry with discussions including sexual harassment, music publishing, streaming services, and representation. Speakers included Scott Becher, vice president of Partnerships at Carnival Cruise Line; and Darren Heitner, founder of Heitner Legal and a sports writer for Inc. Magazine.

In April, the second part of the Global Entertainment conference will drill down over two days on topics such as the rise of activism, financial planning, and brand building for athletes as well as monetizing digital content and sports gaming. Speakers will include Tobias Sherman, CEO & co-Founder of FOUNDRY IV; Arny Schreer, vice president and general manager of partnership development at ‎Home Team Sports, a division of Fox Sports Media Group; and ESPN sports analyst Maria Taylor.

"The first part of our global conference was dynamic and even more informative than anyone could have imagined," said Harold Flegelman, Director of Miami Law's Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law LL.M. "We have every expectation that the April sports conference will offer our attendees the same vitality and value.”

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