A Trademark Licensee’s Rights after its Licensor’s Bankruptcy May Vary Depending on the Venue of the Bankruptcy Case

In this tumultuous retail climate , a string of recent conflicting court decisions remind retailers that the potential impact of a licensor bankruptcy on a trademark licensee’s rights may vary dramatically depending on the location of the licensor’s bankruptcy proceedings.  In some jurisdictions a licensee may be entitled to...
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Leveraged Returns: How Big Box Retailers are Using In-Store Fulfilment Centers to Bring Consumers Back to Brick-and-Mortar

The growth of e-commerce over the last two decades has forced traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to rethink their operations in order to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market. For some, this means developing websites and mobile apps to entice consumers with an omnichannel shopping experience. However, a few large retailers...
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“We’ve Updated Our Privacy Policy”

How the EU’s New Data Protection Law is Changing Data Policy Considerations for American Retailers
If you have ever made an online purchase, chances are that you have received at least one  email  in the last month notifying you that a company’s privacy policy has changed. These emails are part of efforts to comply with the  General Data Protection Regulation (known as the “GDPR”),...
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A Changed World: The Supreme Court Permits State and Local Taxation of Online Sales by Retailers with No State Presence

A Changed View of Online Sales Tax for Out-of-State Retailers
With the growing and evolving retail world, which we have  discussed   before , one thing had remained constant: retailers did not have to collect sales tax for online sales to states in which they had no physical presence. Thanks to the Supreme Court, that principle  had  remained a...
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A World of Trademarks at INTA 2018 Annual Meeting in Seattle

During the week of May 20, 2018, members of the Goulston & Storrs  Intellectual Property Group  joined over 10,500 attendees from around the world for the 140th Annual Meeting of the  International Trademark Association (INTA) . Held in Seattle, Washington, the INTA 2018 Annual Meeting attracted an incredibly diverse...
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ICSC RECon 2018--Stepping Into the Future

The Las Vegas Convention Center hosted  ICSC RECon 2018  last week from May 20-23. Upon their entry into the Convention Center’s Central Hall, this year’s RECon attendees were greeted by the ICSC Innovation Exchange. This interactive exhibit showcased a broad range of new technologies, including autonomous security systems, digital...
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ICSC RECon In Full Swing

ICSC is in full swing at the Las Vegas Convention Center this week. This is the  world’s largest gathering of retail real estate professionals . With 37,000 industry professionals and 1200 exhibitors, it promises to be an amazing week. Last year, the mood at the convention was largely positive...
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The New Dawn of Retail: Apocalypse or Evolution?

Major retailers that once reigned supreme with brick and mortar stores now face unparalleled challenges. Historically, major retailers dominated the retail industry by opening stores in the most desirable locations and offering fetching merchandise at a great value. But, numerous trends – including a dramatic shift in shopping habits,...
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No More Lifetime Guarantees – The Importance of a Balanced Return Policy

In February 2018, L.L. Bean made the tough decision to  change its lifetime return policy , which had been in existence for over a century. Following the policy change, the company received backlash from its customers , with many of them voicing their frustrations on twitter. One user tweeted...
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Does Trademark Protection Extend to On-Line Advertising- Apparently It All Depends

It seems that nearly every day another retailer announces the large-scale closure of brick-and-mortar storefronts, with such household brands as Toys “R” Us and J. Crew, just to name two,  planning to shutter stores in 2018 . The significant challenges faced by traditional retailers are often attributed to the...
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Preparing for a Retail Storm

In the past few years, we have seen increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and extreme weather across the globe. According to NASA, 2016 was the  hottest year on record  and 2017 was the  second warmest year on record . In 2017 alone, the world witnessed massive heat waves in...
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Credit Card Evolution: Goodbye John Hancock

For years, the signature requirement for completing a credit card transaction has felt something like an  obsolete means of confirming a user’s identity . Effective this month, however, four of the country’s largest credit card providers: American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa, will no longer require a signature to...
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Pop-Up Stores- From Mall Kiosks to Dedicated Mall Spaces

It seems that everywhere we turn, there is another story about how the traditional, enclosed shopping mall is facing a slow and painful death. Big box and other brick and mortar stores are closing, and mall landlords are  desperate to fill increasingly empty space . To do so, landlords...
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No Relief in Sight from Website Accessibility Lawsuits

In February 2017, we reported on a surge in website accessibility lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). This litigation trend has accelerated over the past year and shows no signs of slowing down . Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination against disabled persons in places...
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#Trending: Omnichannel Loyalty and Leveraging Social Media Channels

Technological advancements in the current digital age allow consumers to browse and buy products on smartphones and tablets, bringing an unlimited number of retail options to their fingertips—literally. Thus, in an effort to distinguish themselves, many brands are adopting omnichannel-based customer loyalty programs in favor of more traditional programs....
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Bringing Residential Uses to Existing Shopping Centers--A Win Win

Tenant curation, experiential retail , and social media-based marketing are thriving trends in today’s brick-and-mortar shopping center industry. Retail is not the only real estate asset class susceptible to trends, and a recent dominant trend in the multifamily residential sector may offer valuable opportunities for shopping center owners. For...
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Settlement Opens Door For Outer Borough Outlet Centers

In August 2017, Simon Property Group (“SPG”) and the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York (“NYAG”) entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance (the “Settlement”) regarding alleged anti-competitive effects of radius restrictions used by SPG in leases at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (“Woodbury Commons”)...
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A Grocery Attack on Multiple Fronts

Amazon has entered the grocery store space with a bang. From the recent opening of its AmazonGo store , to its acquisition of Whole Foods last August, Amazon has threatened to disrupt the grocery store industry and has jolted the stock price of many of its competitors. But will...
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Foreign Retailers Entering New Markets: Finding A Home Of One’s Own

The first task facing a retailer entering a new market ? To find its customer. This chore takes on more significance for foreign retailers venturing into a complex, expansive and heterogeneous market such as the United States. Depending upon the soundness of the choice, the proverbial pot at the...
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What Does Tax Reform Mean for Retail?

We all know now that the federal corporate tax rate for many retailers is dropping this year from an industry effective average rate of 32.9% to 21%, as a result of changes implemented by the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” which was signed into law on December 22,...
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Five Important Employment Trends for Massachusetts Retailers in 2018

Having survived the holiday shopping season, retailers should begin to prepare for any new employment laws that will go into effect in the coming year (and, of course, should ensure that they are complying with existing laws). This process can be even more challenging for retailers with stores in...
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Rise of the Drones: Flying Over Newton and Registration Requirements Reinstated

The skies are a little friendlier for drones now that the Dutch police have suspended their squad of drone-hunting eagles . This is also great news for retailers, as drone popularity continues to soar with overall electronics sales . With more advanced technologies available to consumers and drones rapidly...
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Vitamin D and Retail: But Not Without Due Diligence First

We’ve all read about the question marks floating around the fate of brick and mortar retail in America. Factors like the strength of e-commerce and shifting consumer preferences (such as the popularity of urban centers over suburbia and consumers’ yearn for experiences over traditional shopping trips) are challenging landlords...
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Teavana and Whole Foods: Is the Pendulum Swinging in Favor of Protecting Mall Landlords Against Strategic Tenant Closures?

As mall landlords continue to see substantial tenant vacancies, some landlords have begun to challenge solvent tenants who decide to go dark before the end of their lease. In two important recent cases — Simon Property Group, L.P. v. Starbucks Corporation, Case No. 49D01-1708-PL-032170 (Indiana Superior Court) and Bellevue...
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ICSC New York Deal Making (2017)

On December 6-7, the Javits Center played host to this years’ ICSC NY Deal Making Conference . ICSC featured a new format at this years’ Conference. In addition to the deal making opportunities on Wednesday and Thursday, ICSC partnered with retailers and leading  real estate companies to present several...
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Update: Tip Pooling by Restaurant Owners Remains in Flux

This past April, we reported on a recent Ninth Circuit ruling which upheld a 2011 Department of Labor (“DOL”) rule that prohibits restaurants from instituting tip-pooling arrangements that include both front-of-house staff that are customarily and regularly tipped (such as waiters, waitresses, bellhops, and service bartenders) and back-of-house staff...
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Supreme Court Removes Patent Litigation from the Heartland of Texas

For years, patent assertion entities have filed patent lawsuits against retailers in federal court in Texas.  The Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC may give retailers the ability to insist they defend such lawsuits on their home turf. Deep In the Heart...
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Cannes Brick and Mortar Retail in the United States Make a Comeback?

2017 MAPIC Conference in Cannes, France Last week, a contingent from Goulston & Storrs attended the annual MAPIC conference in Cannes (pronounced “Can”), France for the seventh consecutive year. We expected to field questions about the challenges facing brick and mortar retailers in the United States as well as...
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