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Retail & Fashion eBulletin: February 2020

13 February 2020

With London Fashion Week kicking off tomorrow, our latest Retail & Fashion eBulletin focusses on how the fashion industry is targeting video games and esports, the Mulberry ‘philisophical belief’ appeal and the Bentley Clothing brand battle.

High fashion meets esports

With the battle for consumers’ attention becoming ever more competitive and the younger demographic seen as increasingly difficult to reach, the fashion industry is venturing down virtual avenues to connect with millennials through video games and esports.

Last year, Louis Vuitton generated great interest in both the fashion and gaming worlds when they designed and released virtual attire in collaboration with online battle game League of Legends.

The online multiplayer game, which attracts 8 million players daily, enables players to purchase Louis Vuitton outfits and accessories for in-game characters.

To further integrate itself, the fashion house even unveiled a bespoke trophy travel case emblazoned with Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram pattern at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship grand final – an event that attracted more than 100 million viewers.

It is no surprise that fashion has turned its attention to infiltrating the gaming space as the video games market is predicted to become a $300 billion industry by 2025, with the in-game asset market alone currently valued at $50 billion.

Given the popularity of different outfits and customisation options in games like League of Legends and Fortnite, fashion and esports are now seen as a natural fit.

You can read the article in full here.

Former Mulberry employee loses ‘philosophical belief’ discrimination appeal

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an employee’s claim that she suffered indirect discrimination on the ground of her philosophical belief that she should have the right to own and profit from her own creative works.

Anna Gray was employed by the luxury handbag designer, Mulberry, as a market support assistant and was asked to sign their standard copyright agreement as a condition of her employment.

Mulberry required all their employees to sign copyright agreements which was intended to protect its intellectual property rights in its designs. The copyright agreement stated that Mulberry would own the copyright in any work created by their employee in the course of their employment.

Ms Gray is a writer and a filmmaker outside of work, and refused to sign the agreement due to concerns that its wide drafting left it open to interpretation and therefore interfered with her writing and film-making work.

You can read the article in full here.

Brand battle: Bentley Clothing wins 20 year trade mark dispute

Family-run company, Bentley Clothing has won a long-running trade mark dispute against luxury carmaker, Bentley Motors.

Bentley Clothing was set up in 1962 and is the owner of registered trade marks covering the word BENTLEY in class 25 for clothing dating back to 1982. Bentley Motors first sold clothing containing the famous B-in-Wings device in 1987.

In 1998, Bentley Clothing attempted in vain to license its mark to the luxury carmaker. In the following years Bentley Motors started to expand its clothing business including amending its branding and using a logo bearing both the famous ‘B-in-Wings’ device and also the word BENTLEY on its own.

In addition to expanding the scope of its brand and its clothing business, from 2015, Bentley Motors also made a number of unsuccessful attempts to cancel Bentley Clothing’s registered trade marks.

This approach prompted Bentley Clothing to defend its rights by issuing High Court proceedings against the carmaker for registered trade mark infringement.

You can read the article in full here.

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