Inside Licensing News and Notes, May 11, 2018

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Burberry Suing Target for Trademark Infringement

Burberry is suing Target in U.S. District Court, NY, claiming eyewear, luggage, stainless steel bottles and scarves sold through Target infringe its “Burberry Check” trademark. Burberry sent Target a cease-and-desist letter last year claiming that several products carried “unauthorized reproductions” of the trademark, Burberry said. The products bearing the pattern “significantly injured Burberry’s hard-earned reputation and goodwill,” states the lawsuit, which seeks $2 million for each trademark counterfeited or infringed. Target said it was aware of the suit and would respond in “a reasonable manner,” adding that it has “a great deal of respect for design rights,” Target said. Burberry has filed other infringement suits involving the checked pattern against T.J. Maxx (2010) and J.C. Penney (2016), among others.

Contact:

Burberry, Julie Brown, Chief Financial Officer,212-494-4765

Target, Cathy Smith, Chief Financial Officer,612-304-6073

 

Executives

GameStop CEO Resigns

GameStop CEO Michael Mauler resigns for personal reasons just three months after replacing Paul Raines, who left citing health issues. Prior to being named CEO in February, Mauler was EVP of GameStop’s International Division. GameStop Co-Founder and former CEO Daniel DeMatteo was appointed CEO on an interim basis… Molly Adams, formerly EVP of Global Merchandise and Product Development at Disney, named President of footwear retailer Famous Footwear.

 

Global Brands Group to Post Year-End Loss

Global Brands Group expects to post a $70-75 million loss for the year ended March 31, reversing a $90 million year-earlier profit amid $100 million in non-cash charges, the company said in issuing a profit warning today (May 11). The year-end loss was partly tied to the end of a major (unspecified) license agreement, the company said. GBG lost the Coach brand footwear business last year as Tapestry (formerly known as Coach) took the business in-house. And GBG’s license for Quiksilver children’s apparel also expired. Quiksilver filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and emerged a year later with Oaktree Capital as its new owner. GBG has been trying to revamp its business by bringing in new labels, including the acquisition of BCBG Max Azaria’s operations last August. As part of that purchase, GBG is working with Marquee Brands and Authentic Brands Group (ABG) which jointly purchased BCBG’s IP. GBG retained 42 of what had been 500 BCBG stores. It also sold a 49% stake in the bootwear brand Frye to ABG last year.

Contact:

Global Brands Group, Dow Famulak, Pres. and Chief Operating Officer, 646-839-7001, dowfamulak@globalvbrandsgroup.com

 

Sequential Sells Revo Brand

Sequential Brands Group sold its Revo brand as it continues to sharpen focus on six labels — Martha Stewart, Joe’s, Gaiam, Jessica Simpson, Avia and And1. The company took a $5.1 loss on the sale of Revo to an undisclosed buyer, ending a five-year run with a label that it purchased for $20 million in 2013. With the sale of Revo, Sequential’s six core brands account for 80% of the company’s sales, CEO Karen Murray told analysts. “These brands distinguish us from our competitors because of their authenticity, powerful connection with consumers, and significant retail presence,” Murray said. Beiying Sports Technology Co. recently signed a licensing agreement for for Avia for China covering, men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, footwear and accessories that will ship later this year. Beiying also will open Avia stores.

The And1 brand also has gained “significant additional space” at Walmart and will launch the A1 by And1 footwear and apparel collection late this year with former NBA star Kevin Garnett, Murray said.

Sequential’s net loss doubled to $2.2 million in Q1 ended March 31 as revenue declined 3.2% to $38.1 million.

Contact:

Sequential Brands Group, Peter Lops, Chief Financial Officer, 646-564-2577, plops@sbg-ny.com