Archives: Intellectual Property

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Judge Nathan on The Velvet Underground and Declaratory Judgments

Lawyers of a certain age may remember Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, one of the seminal counterculture rock bands of the 1960s. Their first album, The Velvet Underground and Nico, was sponsored by Andy Warhol, who also designed the album’s now iconic artwork in 1967: a banana image. Today, forty-five years later, Judge Nathan … Continue Reading

Judge Scheindlin on Gucci and Guess?

The conclusion of fashion week in New York City is an appropriate coda for Judge Scheindlin’s decision in Gucci v. Guess. In 2009, Gucci accused Guess of an elaborate scheme to knock off Gucci’s products, particularly its famous Green-Red-Green stripe, as well as related designs. The opinion includes several interesting pictures comparing the Guess and Gucci … Continue Reading

Judge Scheindlin Rejects Claim that Corporations Must “Due Diligence” the Credentials of In-House Counsel to Assert Privilege

Judge Scheindlin in Gucci America, Inc. v. Guess?, Inc., et al. issued a welcome clarification of the federal common law in the S.D.N.Y. regarding the scope of the attorney-client privilege.  Judge Scheindlin set aside a finding of a Magistrate Judge which found that Plaintiff Gucci could not protect its communications with its in-house counsel from discovery … Continue Reading

Judge Jones on Enforcing Liquidated Damages Clauses

The apparent certainty of a liquidated damages clause may seem to be an efficient remedy for a breach of contract.  But, the enforceability of liquidated damages clauses typically is hotly disputed.  Judge Jones’ opinion in L & L Wings, Inc. v. Marco Destin, Inc., No. 07 Civ. 4137 (S.D.N.Y.) contains a helpful analysis of when liquidated damages are appropriate, but … Continue Reading

Judge Preska on the “Sole Shareholder” Rule and Pleading Contract and Fraud Claims

Judge Preska’s valuable opinion in IMG Fragrance Brands, LLC v. Houbigant, Inc.,09 CV 3655 (LAP) untangles the financial dealings of Plaintiffs (IMG), the licensees of fragrance trademarks from the Defendants (Houbigant).  The opinion includes a neat summary of the application of the common law “sole shareholder rule” to claims of fiduciary breach.  The sole shareholder … Continue Reading