Hermès owns various trademark registrations for the marks Hermès, BIRKIN, and in the configuration of its BIRKIN bag. Defendant Mason Rothschild, is a digital artist who created a METABIRKINS line of NFTs, digital art pieces that depict furry versions of the BIRKIN bag. The digital pieces are offered for sale at approximately 3 ETHER each, which at today’s exchange rate of $3350, is approximately $10K.

Rothschild uses the domain name metabirkin.com, social media handles such as @metabirkins, and names his store on marketplaces such as Raribles.com as METABIRKINS.

Hermès has now sued. for infringement, dilution, and cybersquatting.

There is an interesting Rogers Test (artistic relevance) issue in some of these NFT cases.

The Fashion Law coverage of the METABIRKIN dispute here.

Text of decision here: sdny hermes v rothschild complaint

 

Defendant moved to dismiss plaintiff’s claims for statutory damages, as its infringement began prior to the filing of plaintiff’s earliest copyright applications. Plaintiff argued that defendant’s ongoing infringement, which occurred subsequent to plaintiff’s latest filings, would be subject to possible statutory damages.

Held: plaintiff given leave to plead with specificity whether defendant’s infringing activity of the material contained in the new filings, began subsequent to those new filings.

Text of decision:
big run v avia nd cal

Although plaintiff Remy Martin owns a registration for its claimed trade dress in its cognac bottle, and even though it provided images of the drawings from its registrations and of the relevant bottles, plaintiff did not clearly and separately identify the elements of its claimed trade dress. Its trademark claims were dismissed with leave to replead.

Text of decision: remy martin v sire sdny bottle


Class action alleging various New York state torts including false advertising arising from the Jets and Giants identifying themselves as New York teams when they play in New Jersey. Note to out-of-towners – both the Jets and the Giants have w-l records of 4 and 12.

Some coverage here (As of now, most of the coverage is behind paywalls) and this link is wonky.

Text of complaint in Suero v Jets and Giants jets and giants 1_22-cv-00031-AJN_1_PRIMARY DOCUMENT

The Cuban government seized Bacardi’s assets in Cuba in 1960. While the assignee of those rights may not lawfully utilize the mark in the U.S., the U.S. government will not extinguish any rights the assignee may have in the U.,S. Bacardi has been fighting this for decades. Coverage of the HAVANA CLUB saga here.

Text of complaint in Bacardi v PTO: bacardi v pto complaint

Prior Trademark Blog posts on the history of HAVANA CLUB and other Cuban trademarks here.

 

Kohzikode is a large city on the Malabar coast in the south west of India in the Kerala state. It is known in English as Calicut.


Calicut is one of the pivots on which world economic history turned. By the time of the 1400’s, Calicut had been an important trading city for  several hundred years – while the general area of the Malabar coast had been trading with Africa and Europe since antiquity.

Entering the 1400’s, the Venetians and the Genoese had dominated the Mediterranean and the lucrative trade between Asia and Europe, for hundreds of years. Portugal, spurred on by its ruler Prince Henry the Navigator, executed a decades-long plan to end-run the Mediterranean by “discovering” an all-water route to Asia.

In 1498, the Portuguese navigator, Vasco de Gama, landed in Calicut.

Portugal established trade with Calicut and other ports in India and in Southeast Asia. The Genoese and Venetian domination of trade had been weakened. The western and northern European trading powers (Spain, the Dutch, the English) eventually supplanted them.

However, after several visits by de Gama and other Portuguese ships carrying heavy cannon, the new trading relationship didn’t end well for Calicut. Or the Muslims he encountered. Or pretty much anyone the Portuguese encountered.

But Calicut survived, as does a fabric that originated there in the 11th century. Made of cotton from the Gujarat state of India, the fabric is unbleached, but often dyed once woven. Calicut was the birthplace of calico fabric.

More history of calico here

here.

 

 

 

The appellation of origin of the day is Mocha. Mocha is a city in Yemen, known as a market (not a grower) of coffee beans from the 15th through the 18th centuries.

A great deal of the coffee was imported from Harar in Ethiopia.  A mocha latte is a chocolate-flavored coffee beverage. This article suggests that beans from Mocha tasted chocolatey and not that the city began the practice of adding chocolate to coffee.

Heaven… I’m in heaven,
And the cares that hung around me through the week,
Seem to vanish like a gambler’s lucky streak,
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek.

Arthur Murray, of dance studio fame, asserts rights in WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP for dance.

Idea for movie: A top ballroom dancer pairs with a plain, left-footed local girl when his maverick style earns him the disdain of his more conventionally-minded colleagues. Together, the team gives it their all and makes dreams of the National Championship title come true. ah, it’s been done.

text of complaint:  arthur murray