Patent Protection Gains Traction in Accessories

Patent Protection Gains Traction in Accessories
16
WWD, MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2008
WWD.COM
Financial
Patent Protection Gains Traction in Accessories
By Dawn S. Kissi
P
atent protection is an important, and
often overlooked, strategy for companies to consider.
Trademark and copyright protections
are frequently used by apparel designers,
but they apply only to limited areas of intellectual property. For some product categories, particularly accessories, patent
registrations can be an unexplored avenue
of defense against knockoffs and counterfeits, according to Robert Katz, partner at
Banner & Witcoff, a national law firm that
specializes in intellectual property.
“Traditionally, fashion-related products are particularly susceptible to being
copied. Therefore, appropriate consideration of new products for design patent
protection should routinely be given,” he
said. Typically, utility patents are directed
to protecting functional innovations and
design patents protect the ornamental appearance of items, Katz said.
The protections offered by both types
of patents exclude others from making,
using, selling, importing and offering to
sell infringing products, but the terms of
protection are different, he said.
Utility patents can be enforced from the
date they are granted and expire 20 years
from their date of filing. Design patents,
however, have a term of 14 years from their
date of issue. That is about to change in the
U.S. The term of protection for a design
patent will increase to 15 years soon in accordance with an international treaty.
When applicable, design patents are
typically one of the strongest forms of protection for products that are purchased
partly for what they look like, Katz said.
When considering a design patent,
application companies should look at a
product’s fabric patterns or other surface
ornamentation, its shape (including layouts and overlays of panels and sections),
and combinations of its surface ornamentation and its shape. In some cases more
things beyond just the primary article
could also be eligible for protection. This
would include product packaging, storefronts, store interiors, affiliated products
and Web pages, which are all potentially
eligible, Katz said.
“In the fashion industry, commercially
successful products are routinely knocked
off. Any company that does not procure
design protection on its commercial goods
likely gives up the right to stop competitors
from making and selling knockoffs of their
products. This commonly results in the original designs having to compete in the marketplace with the knockoffs,” Katz said.
Trademark laws can be used to prevent knockoffs, but they have limitations.
Trademark protection only covers the
trademarks a company uses to identify
its goods and not what the items look like
or how they are manufactured. For example, under the law, a handbag that is
identical to that of a well-known brand is
only a counterfeit or knockoff if it bears a
fake trademark. The identical bag under
another name or without any trademark
is not considered illegal.
“The creators of new designs should
look to maximize protection under the design patent laws, but should also give proper consideration to maximize protection
under the trademark laws,” Katz said.
Weekly Stocks
Fast Stats
52-WEEK
HIGH
85.77
29.00
31.88
26.23
3.45
34.80
39.92
8.61
42.51
12.80
19.92
38.42
18.00
9.60
39.15
2.65
1.38
57.66
37.68
43.71
25.10
28.28
29.00
13.82
25.66
50.36
12.12
8.03
33.93
14.44
77.77
48.76
27.94
60.97
21.17
42.89
48.00
54.00
25.69
81.27
70.93
32.19
72.68
75.21
12.30
2.58
166.50
10.95
19.99
9.13
72.33
40.56
24.65
44.71
41.64
14.27
28.05
52.31
35.42
14.60
25.87
46.25
15.74
44.46
30.73
22.02
67.43
54.15
26.74
46.47
29.69
15.37
57.20
45.95
20.25
33.73
8.69
29.26
12.11
4.45
40.99
24.48
29.18
57.17
87.18
14.25
2.45
LOW
67.72
21.19
18.29
20.92
1.45
19.42
24.48
2.49
31.95
2.02
11.71
28.67
13.30
5.67
28.02
0.50
0.66
7.10
13.28
30.86
8.65
14.05
18.35
4.58
13.18
23.06
8.51
2.12
12.27
4.93
49.90
29.50
8.45
20.56
10.76
31.14
13.25
29.22
6.00
63.75
42.18
16.10
51.52
21.50
5.17
0.52
55.98
2.21
6.06
5.50
36.55
15.52
11.69
17.05
26.00
5.50
17.41
38.41
17.45
2.16
20.05
20.98
9.20
34.81
11.65
15.20
38.24
24.98
11.94
23.11
13.77
2.65
32.02
28.17
12.00
23.80
3.02
15.68
4.96
0.35
25.08
18.01
16.42
33.50
39.70
2.10
0.67
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Acadia (AKR)
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Ann Taylor (ANN)
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Chattem (CHTT)
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Children’s Place (PLCE)
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Cintas (CTAS)
Citi Trends (CTRN)
Coach (COH)
Coldwater Creek (CWTR)
Colgate Palmolive (CL)
Columbia Sprtswr (COLM)
Conns (CONN)
Costco (COST)
Crocs (CROX)
Culp (CFI)
Cygne Designs (CYDS)
Deckers Outdoor (DECK)
Delia’s (DLIA)
Delta Apparel (DLA)
Delta Galil (DELT)
Developers Diversified (DDR)
Dillard’s (DDS)
Dress Barn (DBRN)
DSW (DSW)
Duckwall-Alco (DUCK)
Eddie Bauer (EBHI)
Elizabeth Arden (RDEN)
Estée Lauder (EL)
Family Dollar (FDO)
Finish Line (FINL)
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Fossil (FOSL)
Freds (FRED)
G&K (GKSR)
Gaiam (GAIA)
Gap (GPS)
General Growth (GGP)
Genesco (GCO)
G-III Apparel (GIII)
Gildan Activewear (GIL)
Glimcher (GRT)
Gottschalks (GOT)
Guess (GES)
Gymboree (GYMB)
Hampshire (HAMP)
Hanesbrands (HBI)
Hartmarx (HMX)
Helen of Troy (HELE)
Hot Topic (HOTT)
House of Taylor (HOTJ)
IAC Interactive (IACI)
Iconix (ICON)
Inter Parfums (IPAR)
J. Crew (JCG)
J.C. Penney (JCP)
Jaclyn (JLN)
Joe’s Jeans (JOEZ)
P/E
14.8
43.9
16.9
28.9
13.3
10.5
12.7
29.6
15.9
45.0
5.4
18.5
4.8
9.6
13.5
24.1
12.9
4.2
9.9
20.6
13.7
16.6
10.9
10.1
28.4
8.1
11.6
16.1
14.6
15.8
12.3
16.2
18.2
23.5
11.2
10.4
26.9
20.0
43.9
22.6
19.8
8.3
7.8
10.9
30.2
14.1
20.4
10.8
7.1
29.1
25.6
15.2
17.3
82.9
20.4
31.0
20.1
13.1
38.2
18.7
10.6
79.4
40.5
7.8
17.2
39.3
18.9
18.3
21.2
7.9
31.8
36.7
VOLUME
(000’S)
19525
1988
25076
5257
748
77001
26654
498
68624
282
10262
0
409
6
25991
102
1592
10686
12172
5506
5062
22408
5323
4817
3912
9907
62
1270
11642
38339
2925
1628
54459
10339
7094
13335
3613
75164
17262
33324
8138
3312
49027
91925
477
68
6790
1161
318
10
19570
36282
35765
5125
71
5369
1948
32627
39581
22768
83
13575
9988
1296
2665
138091
45556
5285
984
7482
3156
2535
21654
23581
36
10485
1085
3671
7352
33
28283
9067
731
17677
73346
283
675
AMT
LAST
74.65
24.12
26.08
24.09
1.60
18.93
23.14
3.26
39.05
2.26
11.76
34.20
13.46
5.85
27.54
0.60
0.78
6.65
12.22
30.95
9.24
17.23
18.05
4.22
14.59
22.19
9.15
2.05
14.35
4.82
72.87
30.56
8.03
23.13
10.36
31.61
13.74
28.09
5.82
78.78
40.34
15.73
65.65
32.75
8.00
0.79
141.99
2.55
6.84
6.25
35.34
16.27
10.81
17.20
24.50
4.89
19.26
41.87
17.00
1.75
23.50
35.97
8.70
36.59
26.31
19.66
36.66
33.00
13.90
39.85
13.71
2.36
35.30
26.69
12.90
24.33
3.30
15.07
4.58
0.44
25.29
17.66
18.14
42.18
37.64
6.78
1.04
52-WEEK
CHANGE
-5.33
-1.95
-0.16
-0.51
0.00
-1.62
-2.12
0.62
-0.94
-0.20
-1.11
-1.70
-0.99
-0.15
-6.64
0.01
0.01
-3.32
-3.22
-3.25
-0.68
-0.21
-1.85
-1.11
-1.71
-1.69
-0.55
-0.14
-1.52
-0.59
-2.48
-2.14
-1.06
-2.62
-0.80
-2.57
-1.92
-2.38
-1.00
0.04
-4.48
-1.89
-4.57
-5.20
0.74
-0.01
-18.20
-0.13
-0.31
0.13
-2.35
-2.51
-2.08
-1.81
-7.17
-1.52
-0.92
-1.94
-1.99
-0.55
1.50
-6.71
-1.15
-1.49
-2.47
-1.70
-3.89
-5.50
-1.55
-1.76
-0.31
-0.96
-3.67
-3.10
0.44
-3.51
-0.02
-2.72
-1.20
-0.01
-1.70
-2.33
-0.05
-6.58
-6.13
-0.12
-0.06
HIGH
35.54
46.16
33.54
28.32
72.79
53.60
79.55
34.47
22.99
15.28
29.88
24.23
46.84
13.15
39.39
103.59
46.70
24.49
56.64
26.20
43.81
35.40
3.50
26.15
16.20
67.93
9.38
59.70
6.77
25.00
50.98
23.11
7.97
37.20
35.22
62.19
5.65
102.58
33.67
15.75
13.14
38.75
93.49
23.30
1.51
19.23
35.17
23.25
195.18
35.26
7.43
123.96
38.03
5.28
17.17
5.00
37.47
13.60
22.08
26.40
3.85
13.70
8.25
44.43
70.75
2.20
63.87
10.98
57.34
31.67
32.46
23.74
47.00
73.40
3.07
48.00
29.40
96.20
51.00
51.44
44.94
52.30
34.31
2.36
31.08
30.15
53.99
LOW
15.70
24.59
14.21
16.52
63.79
33.74
43.08
16.27
12.72
10.32
16.50
9.99
18.74
2.15
29.53
68.12
23.34
11.82
25.33
14.60
14.48
23.78
1.39
20.20
5.69
47.46
1.41
30.46
3.60
5.00
21.46
12.85
2.63
14.84
13.92
34.36
1.10
59.80
13.31
7.80
6.32
20.63
61.41
3.91
1.00
5.84
24.20
14.38
98.25
10.54
1.01
82.60
17.36
1.82
4.31
2.72
17.10
9.38
12.17
10.50
0.30
7.91
2.70
32.32
48.85
0.96
45.67
3.50
38.17
15.05
25.74
13.89
22.75
41.37
1.83
34.60
19.20
66.43
18.54
42.09
24.40
30.23
22.69
0.80
22.78
14.34
20.07
RETAILERS
Jones Apparel (JNY)
Jos. A. Bank (JOSB)
Kellwood (KWD)
Kenneth Cole (KCP)
Kimberly Clark (KMB)
Kimco Realty (KIM)
Kohl’s (KSS)
K-Swiss (KSWS)
LaCrosse Footwear (BOOT)
Lakeland Inds (LAKE)
Limited Brands (LTD)
Liquidity Services (LQDT)
Liz Claiborne (LIZ)
LJ Intl. (JADE)
Luxottica (LUX)
Macerich (MAC)
Macy’s Inc. (M)
Maidenform (MFB)
Men’s Wearhouse (MW)
Marcus (MCS)
Mothers Work (MWRK)
Movado (MOV)
Movie Star (MSI)
National Retail Prop. (NNN)
New York & Co. (NWY)
Nike (NKE)
Nitches (NICH)
Nordstrom (JWN)
Orange 21 (ORNG)
Orchids Paper (TIS)
Oxford (OXM)
Pacific Sunwear (PSUN)
Parlux Fragrances (PARL)
Payless Shoes (PSS)
Perry Ellis (PERY)
Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH)
Phoenix Footwear (PXG)
Polo Ralph Lauren (RL)
PriceSmart (PSMT)
Quiksilver (ZQK)
R.G. Barry (DFZ)
Ramco-Gershenson (RPT)
Regency Centers (REG)
Retail Ventures (RVI)
Revlon (REV)
Rocky Brands (RCKY)
Ross Stores (ROST)
Saks (SKS)
Sears (SHLD)
Shoe Carnival (SCVL)
Shoe Pavilion (SHOE)
Simon Properties (SPG)
Skechers (SKX)
Sport-Haley (SPOR)
Stein Mart (SMRT)
Stephan (TSC)
Steve Madden (SHOO)
Superior Uniform (SGC)
Syms (SYM)
Talbots (TLB)
Talon Intl. (TLN)
Tandy Brands (TBAC)
Tandy Leather Factory (TLF)
Tanger Factory Outlet (SKT)
Target (TGT)
Tarrant Apparel (TAGS)
Taubman (TCO)
Tefron (TFR)
Tiffany & Co. (TIF)
Timberland (TBL)
TJ Maxx (TJX)
True Religion (TRLG)
Tween Brands (TWB)
Under Armour (UA)
Unifi (UFI)
Unifirst (UNF)
Urban Outfitters (URBN)
VF Corp. (VFC)
Volcom (VLCM)
Wal-Mart (WMT)
Warnaco (WRNC)
Weingarten (WRI)
Weyco (WEYS)
Wilsons (WLSN)
Wolverine (WWW)
Zale (ZLC)
Zumiez (ZUMZ)
P/E
9.6
18.4
16.9
25.1
12.0
12.4
14.3
17.4
8.8
30.8
12.7
15.1
20.0
69.7
13.4
9.0
7.4
17.2
11.4
15.1
27.5
18.3
11.6
19.4
9.1
9.2
7.0
10.8
16.1
62.1
3.3
6.6
29.3
1.6
73.1
12.8
86.8
13.4
10.8
35.3
10.3
6.5
9.6
31.1
45.7
2.5
6.2
53.6
14.4
12.0
56.5
13.5
16.7
20.1
17.5
19.5
14.8
44.5
15.1
32.0
12.5
13.6
15.0
15.2
21.0
13.3
13.5
12.1
23.6
VOLUME
(000’S)
41992
6392
5863
2171
31136
29751
98173
6586
85
21
87274
1935
20916
37752
3439
10725
141055
1390
17502
2148
654
2546
338
17046
7046
55395
276
123534
60
27
3443
25390
1567
24953
3701
12669
299
34791
949
17728
163
1852
10744
18868
9957
475
25106
36516
37370
985
781
49566
4370
0
9980
118
2062
204
286
21761
241
26
164
7797
146663
39
9573
409
27223
5138
57654
7789
10128
13718
1155
1590
62767
9495
10691
202191
14996
16393
133
597
2899
21373
33160
AMT
LAST
14.26
25.01
17.89
15.76
68.97
33.77
40.90
16.95
17.52
11.30
16.51
11.56
18.22
4.65
29.68
64.86
22.40
11.51
25.12
14.14
16.41
22.35
1.55
21.65
5.59
61.74
2.15
31.50
4.19
8.50
23.00
12.28
4.06
15.50
12.84
32.69
1.96
56.59
27.55
7.49
7.26
20.07
58.71
4.70
1.16
6.01
23.14
17.73
101.42
12.38
1.00
79.56
17.15
2.01
4.07
3.30
18.01
9.84
13.19
9.46
0.40
8.75
3.20
35.01
48.08
1.18
44.79
5.01
41.38
15.98
27.26
17.84
25.23
41.80
2.33
40.08
27.10
63.79
19.34
45.72
29.40
29.10
26.46
0.87
21.99
13.56
18.65
CHANGE
-1.99
-3.04
-0.30
-2.09
-0.97
-2.26
-4.31
-1.36
0.26
0.02
-2.34
-0.55
-1.93
1.18
-2.04
-5.77
-3.08
-1.86
-2.35
-1.81
-0.71
-3.22
-0.07
-1.95
-0.65
-2.57
0.52
-5.43
-0.07
-0.28
-3.36
-1.87
-0.04
-1.77
-2.34
-4.78
0.26
-5.17
-3.11
-1.15
0.21
-1.09
-4.98
-0.60
-0.04
-0.24
-2.20
-2.74
-0.68
-2.11
-0.01
-7.53
-2.04
0.04
-0.82
-0.01
-2.03
-0.02
-0.78
-2.36
0.04
-0.65
-0.10
-2.65
-2.66
-0.03
-3.98
0.04
-4.74
-2.30
-1.28
-4.04
-1.15
-0.66
-0.04
0.90
0.11
-6.43
-3.96
-2.36
-5.10
-2.82
-1.32
-0.11
-2.51
-2.10
-6.86
Geographical center of
the contiguous United
States: Lebanon, Kan.
Population of Lebanon,
Kan., as of the 2000
U.S. Census: 303
Total number of Macy’s
employees impacted
by the closure of nine
stores announced on
Dec. 28: 899
Distance from Lebanon,
Kan., to the nearest
Macy’s in the state,
located in Topeka:
223 miles
SOURCE: COMPANY REPORTS, U.S. CENSUS
WWD Index
Composite
838.60
-54.68
Weekly % Changes
(ending Jan. 4)
Gainers
LJ Intl.
Nitches
Ashworth
Phoenix Footwear
Talon Intl.
Change
34.01
31.90
23.48
15.29
11.11
Decliners
Bon-Ton
Gottschalks
Zumiez
Finish Line
Eddie Bauer
Change
-33.30
-28.92
-26.90
-23.91
-23.71
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