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Supreme Court upholds American innovation and investment on World Anticounterfeiting Day

By Press Club


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Image Credit: lucky-photographer from Getty Images Pro

The American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc., and the Accessories Council applaud today’s announcement by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Jack Daniel's case 21-16969 on World Anticounterfeiting Day.

Our nation was founded on principles of innovation and invention. The decision in this case reflects that the nation’s highest court values and will protect American intellectual property on behalf of brands, workers, consumers, and the American economy.

On June 8, U.S. Supreme Court said in a unanimous opinion in Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc. v. VIP Products LLC that the Ninth Circuit was wrong to hold that a dog toy version of a Jack Daniel's whiskey bottle does not infringe trademark rights because parody is protected speech. This decision in favor of trademark rights was made on World Anticounterfeiting Day.

"The court’s decision gives certainty to American brands that investments in new designs and innovation are not lost by allowing others to pilfer the intellectual property of another. Counterfeiting cheats everyone - consumers, U.S. workers, and the economic input that brands provide in so many communities across this country. AAFA applauds the court’s edict that counterfeiting will not be tolerated or protected by the first amendment under the law; illicit creation puts American consumers, companies, workers, and local communities at risk. We should not glorify or justify any type of counterfeiting or trademark infringement; it is illicit and those standing by the sidelines are complicit," said AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar.

"FDRA applauds today's decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in support of intellectual property. Counterfeits directly harm consumers, threaten jobs, and undermine the trust and reputation built by brands. FDRA joined an amicus brief in this case, because we are concerned about recent efforts to create new protections for infringing goods entering the U.S. market. Today's unanimous decision by the Supreme Court will provide much-needed certainty in this area and help strengthen IP protection for U.S. brands and consumers," said Matt Priest, FDRA president and CEO.

FDRA, CFDA, and AC filed an amicus in support of IP in Vans, Inc. v. MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. to oppose a court approved artistic right to counterfeit. The final amicus brief was filed with the Supreme Court on January 18, 2023.

The court (2nd Circuit Court of Appeals), in which the aforementioned groups filed this amicus paused further consideration of Vans, Inc. v. MSCHF Product Studio, Inc. to await the Supreme Court decision in the Jack Daniel's Properties, Inc., v. VIP Products LLC case, reviewing if parody dilutes the trademark and creates counterfeit opportunities.

These groups are also outspoken advocates for the importance of protecting American consumers from counterfeits, including proposed SHOP SAFE legislation; the dangers of counterfeits and illicit products extend across industries.