As well as the editorial agenda, the Luxury Law Summit offered a series of breakout sessions for delegates to choose from.
Group 1, hosted by Bryan Cave
‘Are designer outlet centres the wave of the future for luxury brands?’
This session explored the ability of luxury brands to execute their concepts within designer outlet centres, the impact on the brands, the marketing opportunities, strategic growth opportunities and legal challenges.
We were delighted to be joined by Eric Decouvelaere, COO of McArthurGlen Group, Allyson Stewart-Allen, CEO of International Marketing Partners and David Harper, CEO of Harper Dennis Hobbs, who served on our panel.
Paula Levitan, Partner and Co-leader of UK Retail Team at Bryan Cave
Group 2, hosted by Baker & McKenzie
‘Image Rights: from eponymous brands to celebrities’
In the Instagram-era image is everything. For many brands, association with the right celebrity can significantly affect the bottom-line. However this is an area with many pitfalls: get it wrong and your brand could be facing the wrong kind of exposure.
This presentation covered all aspects of image protection, from what to consider when entering into agreements with celebrities to the acquisition of an eponymous brand. It focussed on rights in the UK, and also give some tips on what to consider in China and APAC, a booming market for many fashion and luxury brands.
In particular it covered:
• How can image rights be protected in the UK?
• Celebs and social media: sponsorship, endorsement and merchandising
• The implications of unauthorised use of a celebrity’s image
• Acquiring an eponymous brand
Fact on image rights:
There is no “image right” in the UK, meaning celebs and those entering into agreements with them have to grapple with a web of different IP rights.
Iona Silverman, Senior Associate, Intellectual Property, Baker & McKenzie LLP
Loke-Khoon Tan, Partner, Intellectual Property, Hong Kong, Baker & McKenzie LLP
Ruth Burstall, Senior Associate, Intellectual Property, Baker & McKenzie LLP
Marc Levey, Partner, Tax, New York, Baker & McKenzie LLP
Sarah Aziz, Senior Legal Counsel, L’Oréal UK & Ireland
.Group 3, hosted by Jenner & Block
‘Growing Luxury Brands: Strategies for Growth‘
In a sector with revenues of $180 million annually, luxury companies of all sizes face growth challenges. From the country club to the department store and from single countries to an international presence, hear an experienced panel of C-Suite executives and trusted advisors in an interactive discussion of investment structures and driving strategies for luxury brand growth. With case studies in growth for both private and public companies as well as an examination of the most effective ways to set and achieve business goals, the panel discussed the upsides and downsides to small growth equity investments, traditional private equity, mergers and strategic acquisitions.
Joseph P. Gromacki, Chair, Corporate Practice, Jenner & Block
Suzanne Turcotte, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel & SVP of Human Resources, ALEX AND ANI
Alessandro Curotti, Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Salvatore Ferragamo
Kevin Mutch, Group Legal Director, Faberge
Barbara Kolsun, Adjunct Professor of Fashion Law and Co-Director, Cardozo’s FAME Program, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Group 4, hosted by CLS Group
‘Luxury goods market. BRUKing news’
Case study panel brought together experts from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine & Kazakhstan to talk about challenges and opportunities for luxury brands on their markets.
What is the forecast for 2016 and the impact on business? Is there still market for luxury brands? What are currently the most efficient and practical ways to penetrate the markets, increase market share and develop business in each country? What do you need to know about real estate, omni-channel trade and e-commerce, intellectual property rights protection and customs regulations in these countries. What are the changes in the legal environment that may influence operations of the luxury brands on these markets? These and other questions were discussed at the panel.
Speakers presented their practical advice based on their deep understanding of the markets and luxury brand operations. The presentation was aimed at helping to deal with the risks of a volatile environment based on experts’ experience and real life stories.
Vladislav Zabrodin, Managing Partner, CLS (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Joel Benjamin, Partner, Kinstellar (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
Timur Bondaryev, Managing and Founding Partner, Arzinger (Kiev, Ukraine)
Alexander Stepanovski, Managing Partner, Attorneys at Law, Stepanovski, Papakul & partners (Minsk, Belarus)
AFTERNOON SESSIONS CONFIRMED
Group 1, hosted by NetNames
‘Enhancing online brand protection strategies by turning consumers into allies: a case study on Versace’
This session covered:
• Why online digital asset and brand protection initiatives are an integral part of a brand’s strategic growth and development
• Online and offline enforcement activities – how Versace uses both to reinforce their overall brand protection program and to turn consumers into allies
• How Versace went on the offensive to attack online counterfeiters – and the results achieved directing consumer spending towards authentic goods and away from fakes
Group 2, hosted by Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg
‘Fashion Icon or Fashion Victim: Significant Issues in M&A Transactions Involving Luxury Brands’
Over the past 20 years, the number of worldwide luxury consumers has more than tripled, and forecasts project increasing growth in this segment. Strategic acquirers are therefore actively looking to acquire luxury brands. While luxury brands may vary in size, heritage and target consumers, they generally share certain attributes, including a unique brand heritage, superior quality, and exclusivity. These factors, combined with the wide variety of intellectual property central to powerful luxury brands—including trademarks, design patents, copyrights, domain names, social media accounts and celebrity rights of publicity—create unique structural and legal issues for both buyers and sellers.
Wendi Sloane shared her experience in navigating these treacherous waters with her luxury clients and will offer her strategic approach to the type of intellectual property due diligence every buyer and seller in the luxury space should consider before consummating any deal.
Wendi E. Sloane, Partner and Intellectual Property Group Chair, Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP.
Andrew R. Grossmann, Partner, Corporate & Securities Group, Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP
Group 3, hosted by Jacobacci
‘The love affair of art and luxury from prenuptial agreements to divorce’
Many of the rich and famous are avid art collectors, either because of a sincere desire to support the arts or out of other less noble pursuits. Cynics may dismiss the recent trend of big brands turning into patrons of the arts as a mere marketing tool, a quest for tax breaks, or worse. However, the inescapable truth is that big brands are turning their stores into art institutions and, simultaneously establishing art foundations that project their image of luxury across the globe.
It is a successful marriage. However, like all marriages, it requires a number of legal considerations that the bride and groom are reluctant to take into account when passion is consuming them.
The image of the brand and much more is at stake, and drafting an appropriate agreement requires providing for the possibility of a divorce.
Fabrizio Jacobacci, Senior Partner, Studio Legale Jacobacci & Associati
Group 4, hosted by Squire Patton Boggs
‘Rules of engagement: A business oriented approach to trademark challenges in China’
A business oriented approach to trademark challenges in China.
Western legal and business professionals are often frustrated and resigned when dealing with intellectual property and specifically trademark protection in China. Most foreign business operators believe that the Chinese intellectual property system is inefficient, and ineffective. Consequently, the apparently unstoppable rise of trademark theft and counterfeiting in China has been always blamed on the ruthless and aggressive Chinese. The China blame game has been then amplified by western media. The result is that with few exceptions, foreign businesses and professionals could not see that some of their trademark problems were due to “failure” to prepare, failure to understand and lack of proper preparation.
Kelly Liu and Vittorio Franzese offered a presentation introducing new comprehensive strategic approaches to dealing with trademark protection and enforcement in China, challenged common legal thinking and proposed new and deliver creative strategic solutions to old unresolved problems.