The Licensing Blog

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When Stealing Licensed Products is Encouraged

The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Rose has a great story today on luxury hotels and how they’ve created their own branded personal care items in order to lure discerning customers. By “discerning customers,” we mean thieves.

Rose explains that the W chain of hotels uses Bliss soaps, shampoos, and lotions to lure customers. She explores the habits of other hotel chains including Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Ritz Carlton, and Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group. Many of the agreements involve licensing between hotel beauty product suppliers and luxury brands.

UK Judge Rules Against Lucasfilm

The designer of the original Storm Trooper helmets for the Star Wars franchise has won a legal battle in the United Kingdom that will allow him to continue selling the helmets there, BBC news reports.

Andrew Ainsworth of London is not allowed to sell the helmets in the U.S. due to American copyright law, but British Supreme Court judges accepted Ainsworth’s argument that the helmets were not artistic works but functional ones, and therefore not subject to the same copyright protection as works of art. The court ruled that three-dimensional creations are not considered sculptures, limiting their copyright protection in the United Kingdom to 15 years.

Retail Sales Up, But Profits, Not So Much

Reuters reports that U.S. retailers will report a nearly 3 percent increase in sales from last year, but that an increase in sales of discount merchandise has kept margins razor-thin.

The article posits that the large number of sales is designed to clear store shelves before the back-to-school season—but it is unclear whether BTS items will command full price.

As we’ve written before, licensed goods should fare pretty well during BTS season, regardless of overall sales numbers.

—Bryan Joiner

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