During a daylong conference centered on key legal issues impacting the consumer retail and fashion industries, Jackson Walker partners Nate St. Clair and Shannon Zmud Teicher joined to discuss cutting-edge intellectual property issues at the intersection of fashion, branding, and technology and the Federal Trade Commission’s endorsement and influencer guidelines.
Presented by the Dallas Bar Association’s Entertainment, Art & Sports Law Section, the Law x Style Summit was held on November 15, 2019, at the Deep Ellum Art Company. Open to both lawyers and non-lawyers, the Summit featured a lineup of panels with executives in fashion, technology, advertising, law, and finance as well as a networking happy hour and pop-up market of Texas-based designers curated by Elizabeth NeSmith.
FTC Endorsement and Influencer Guidelines and Best Practices
To kick off the Summit, Shannon moderated the headline panel covering guidelines and best practices for influencer marketing campaigns. This $8 billion industry presents an exciting opportunity for businesses and influencers. But this rapidly evolving space also presents a unique mix of legal considerations and traps for the unwary. The panel speakers included:
- Mary Engle, Associate Director for Advertising, Federal Trade Commission
- Brittany DeGan, General Counsel, RewardStyle
- Ryan Parley, Senior Counsel, Neiman Marcus Group
Shannon Zmud Teicher is an advocate and counselor with deep experience in intellectual property, media, and technology. Her practice consists of advising and litigating for clients in the areas of trademark, copyright, social media, advertising, marketing, and entertainment. Representative clients include: web and app developers, e-commerce sites and other online services, traditional marketing departments, established media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines), new media, as well as fashion and jewelry designers, influencers, and celebrities.
Technology and Intellectual Property in Fashion
As exponential advances in digital technology, synthetic materials, and manufacturing processes transform fashion faster than ever, futuristic concepts from a decade ago are now a reality, including AR/VR-based dressing rooms, blockchain-based platforms tracking the global supply chain, and wearables that gather complex environmental factors and biometric data.
Following the headline panel, Nate took the “Art Yard” stage for a panel discussion on how intellectual property law protects these innovations. In addition to Nate, the panel featured the following speakers:
- Sammetria Goodson, Goodson Law PLLC Founder (moderator)
- Heather Foster, Assistant General Counsel, Fossil
- Hope Shimabuku, Director, USPTO Texas Regional Office
The panel also addressed how brands are fighting “grey market” and counterfeit goods on e-commerce sites like Google, as well as how companies can comply with U.S. and E.U. data privacy regulations.
Nathaniel St. Clair, II is an intellectual property litigator and counselor with a focus on patent litigation and patent portfolio licensing and management. In 2016, Nate authored “Wearable Technology Brings New Concerns to the Fashion Law Arena” in Thomson Reuters’ Inside the Minds: Navigating Fashion Law, covering the potential legal concerns of 3D printing and wearable technologies. Prior to practicing law, Nate worked as a patent engineer/agent for GE Healthcare for several years and as a law clerk for the General Counsel and Vice President of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA Franchise.