With the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 brought an onslaught of retail bankruptcy cases. Lord & Taylor, Ascena Brands, Neiman Marcus and JC Penny, among many others – not less than 52 in total. As the economy recovered from the initial shock of the pandemic, the number of retail bankruptcy cases subsided in 2021. According to reports, there were 21 retail cases in 2021 as retail traffic began returning to pre-pandemic levels. 2022, however, brings new pressures on the global economy, and certain that may strike the retail industry with force. This month’s filing by Revlon put a spotlight on the industry and may portend a coming wave of filings in what has been a rather tame year for bankruptcies generally, and in retail in particular.

Continue Reading Revlon May Signal Another Wave of Retail Bankruptcies

In light of the recent COVID related wave of bankruptcies affecting fashion brands such as John Varvatos and True Religion, the article explores the trends and implications since the one-year anniversary of ‘Mission Product Holdings v. Tempnology.’

It is no secret that the fashion industry has been steering against a headwind of challenges. Beginning with the rise of e-commerce and the layering on of significant amounts of debt, the current global pandemic might be said to have simultaneously exacerbated these vulnerabilities while also posing new obstacles, such as unforeseen inventory, vendor and supply chain issues.

In the span of five months, apparel companies such as True Religion, John Varvatos, Lucky Brands, and Brooks Brothers have filed Chapter 11 cases, some hoping to reorganize but, more often than not, ultimately pursuing strategic sales of their assets or opting for wholesale liquidations.

These unprecedented challenges are not without opportunities for acquirers and investors as well as licensees of brands. Notably, the wave of bankruptcies also coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC, a ruling that has a direct impact on the rights of a trademark licensee following the bankruptcy of a debtor-licensor.

Continue Reading Surge of Retail Bankruptcies Coincides With the Anniversary of ‘Tempnology’

On Monday, May 20, 2019 the Supreme Court settled a decades-long circuit split regarding a licensee’s ongoing trademark usage rights following the rejection of a trademark license agreement under the U.S. bankruptcy code. In an eight to one decision, the Court found that “rejection breaches a contract but does not rescind it. And that means