Good girl gets mad: Rihanna wins t-shirt tiff against Topshop

Good girl gets mad: Rihanna wins t-shirt tiff against Topshop

In a case where the profile of the parties far outshone the legal substance and had many media outlets overexcited, global popstar Rihanna yesterday ( 31 July) won a High Court battle against high street retailer Topshop over the unauthorised use of her ‘brand’. The £5m case has resulted in untold lovely column inches and hopefully hefty fees for the two firms involved, Reed Smith and Mishcon de Reya.

Suing parent company Arcadia Group, the Barbadian songstress, whose real name is Robin Fenty, filed the claim after Topshop sold t-shirts with her face printed on without permission. Continue reading “Good girl gets mad: Rihanna wins t-shirt tiff against Topshop”

Global firms strengthen white-collar practices

Global firms strengthen white-collar practices

A number of global firms boosted their white-collar defence practices last month with a spate of hires from US and UK government agencies. The hires come as regulators on both sides of the pond continue to tighten their grip on domestic and international businesses.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hired Matthew Friedrich, former acting head of the criminal division at the US Department of Justice (DoJ), to bolster its white-collar practice based in Washington DC.

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OFT senior director joins Gibson Dunn’s City office

OFT senior director joins Gibson Dunn’s City office

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has recruited Ali Nikpay, senior director at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) into its antitrust and competition group in London.

Nikpay joins the US firm as a partner after nine years at the OFT and brings with him Deirdre Taylor, global OFT assistant director from the cartel and criminal enforcement division. Both will be based in London and will start on April 15.

At Gibson Dunn, Nikpay will focus on strengthening the European practice, advising clients on EU and UK cartels, mergers, monopolization cases and other regulatory investigations. He will also work closely with Gary Spratling, who is a partner based in San Francisco.

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IP review: No quarter given

IP review: No quarter given

In-house teams are generally cutting back on legal spend with law firms but IP is a trend buster. As budgets continue to be squeezed, how can law firms run profitable IP businesses that offer good value?

According to his biography, published late last year, the late Steve Jobs was so incensed by Android’s alleged similarities to his beloved iPhone that he vowed to spend every cent of the $40bn Apple had in the bank defeating its rivals in court if he had to. And given the persistent arms race between Apple and the likes of Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Motorola, it seems no-one embroiled in the high-stakes smartphone and tablet wars is particularly concerned about cutting back on legal spend anytime soon.

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Austria part 2 – competitive spirit

Austria part 2 – competitive spirit

Austria’s competition authority is one of the smallest enforcers in Europe, but recently it hasn’t shied away from taking on tough cases against major companies

What do beer, sugar, lifts, freight forwarders and plumbers all have in common? They were all industries subject to big cartel cases in Austria in the past few years. The once-sleepy Bundeswettbewerbsbehorde, or Austrian Federal Cartel Authority (FCA), has displayed new bite: it’s taken on several big new investigations against major companies and is keen to issue some hefty fines. It has caused consternation in the market with its tough new approach, knocking on the doors of major corporates in dawn raids, and has even started issuing press releases while cases are ongoing. All of this has meant an interesting, and very busy, few years for Austria’s select band of specialist cartel lawyers.

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