fashion law

Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Live - Belo Mansion - September 23


Tamera Bennett and Gordon Firemark meet up in Dallas to record Episode 66 of the Entertainment Law Podcast - live - in front of a studio audience.

Join us at the Belo Mansion, Noon on September 23, 2015 for lunch, CLE, and the Podcast.

We will discuss the latest ruling in Lenz v. Universal (aka Prince v. The Dancing Baby). Other topics include extensions to the Canadian Copyright term, the latest in Fashion law and IP rights, and "knock-knock," "who's there?" "Stolen Joke on Twitter. Take it down."


Dallas Bar Association

Belo Mansion

2101 Ross Avenue

Dallas, Texas 75201


Episode 57 - Entertainment Law Update Podcast - Tamera Bennett & Gordon Firemark

Click the arrow below to play the Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 57

Dallas Music and Trademark lawyer Tamera Bennett and LA Film and TV lawyer Gordon Firemark bring you the updates on copyright, trademark and entertainment law matters in their monthly podcast by entertainment lawyers for entertainment lawyers. Listen this month to see if there are any "Blurred Lines" or blurred photos.  You might hear the strains of "Rocky Top" and decide you need some sassy new shoes.

Did Sarah Jessica Parker Need A Location Release for Her Shoes?


With a lot of new sassy shoes, Sarah Jessica Parker launched her SJP line with Nordstrom from the stoop and sidewalk of Carrie Bradshaw's apartment in New York City's West Village.   She caused a kerfuffle at 66 Perry Street because the owners of the apartment complex did not consent to filming. In fact there's a chain across the stoop made famous in "Sex and the City"  that says "Do NOT go on staircase please."

If you plan on filming on private property or capturing private property on film, talk to the property owner first and negotiate a “Location Release.”

I suspect Parker's film crew got the necessary permissions to film on the city sidewalk, but it sounds like they did not ask permission to film on the apartment stoop or stairs.  What we don't know is where the city filming permit ends and the private property begins. 

If you plan on filming on private property or capturing private property on film, talk to the property owner first and negotiate a "Location Release."  A Location Release will typically allow for access to the property for filming and allow what is filmed to be used by the production company. There may or may not be a fee paid for the access. You might consider additional changes to the agreement if the filming is outside or inside of a location.

And, if the filming is outside, you might also need a "Crowd Release." Scroll down for a sample location release.

Releases are not "one size fits all" so make sure you review any documents with your lawyer.

Fashion Lawsuit Roundup - What's In A Trademark?

From hair to shoes to the clothes inbetween, big brands are big business in fashion trademarks. And, no matter what the designer might say, they are always thinking about the competition.

Take a look at a couple of recently filed fashion law trademark cases:

Drybar vs Blow Dry Bar - Trademark for Blow Drying Hair

While in LA  I marveled at all the hair salons for blow drying hair.  Who knew these salons were all over Texas.  And, as much as we Texas gals like our hair fixed, it does seem like a natural fit.

Houston, Texas-based Blow Dry Bar, LLC seeks a declaratory judgment of  non-infringement against  Dallas, Texas-based DryBar Holdings, LLC's trademark and trade dress.  DryBar sent several cease and desist letters to Blow Dry Bar after Blow Dry Bar launched their first location and announced the opening of their second store. DryBar's founder Alli Webb has been credited by many as creating the "blow dry salon" trend.

The term "blow dry bar"  is descriptive at best and is quickly becoming generic for a hair salon that provides "blow drying."  A consumer sees blow dry bar and immediately knows the service available.  Perhaps salons should start thinking less descriptive in order to develop a strong and defendable brand.  The case, filed in 2012, is still active with a hearing on a Motion for Summary Judgment scheduled on April 25, 2013.

Blow Dry Bar, LLC v. Drybar Holdings LLC, 4:12-cv-02425 (S.D. Tex - Houston, filed Aug. 8, 2012).

JCP Seeks Dec Action of Trademark Non-Infringement

Plano, Texas-based retailer, JC Penney Corporation, Inc., asked a judge in Texas federal court to find JCP's use of the name Aspen to describe a pair of winter boots is not infringing of Aspen Licensing International, Inc's "Aspen" trademark for footwear. By filing a declaratory judgment action, JCP kept the case in the Eastern District of Texas requiring Aspen Licensing, a Florida entity, to come to JCP's home court.  According to court documents, Aspen sent several demand letters to JCP and made phone calls threatening litigation if JCP did not make a monetary settlement.

J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. v. Aspen Licensing International Inc., 4:13-cv-00066-RAS-DDB (E.D. Tex. filed Feb. 8, 2013).

How Shoe Princesses Lost Their Brand: Sigerson Morrison

Imagine that one day shoes you designed are gobbled up by Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker and Naomi Campbell.  The next day you are fired from your namesake business with no control over a brand that is your name.

Shoe designers and fashion industry darlings Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison learned a lesson similar to Steve Jobs when he was fired by APPLE --- if you take the investors' money, you might be giving up a lot of control.

Sigerson and Morrison went into business together in 1991 and had a wonderful run.  In 2006, looking for an infusion of cash, they made a deal with Marc Fisher Footwear for$2.6 million to acquire Sigerson Morrison and the intellectual-property rights to the name.  Sigerson and Morrison each retained a 10% interest and a salary.

About a year ago Sigerson and Morrison were fired and litigation has been ongoing.

Clearly the trademark of Sigerson Morrison has a huge value.  But, will the company be able to fill the shoes of the two namesake designers?