Amazon’s fashion design-specific AI initiative—AI Designer—has been in development since 2017. This is a program that creates garment designs independently.
Amazon is nearing the trial stage for AI Designer which was developed in Amazon Lab126, a research and development company founded in 2004 by Gregg Zehr, who is the design guru who developed Amazon’s Kindle line of e-readers and tablets.
AI designer uses a generative adversarial network that uses vast datasets and two competing neural networks to distinguish what is stylish and what isn’t. For data, the system has significant data and images that can be harvested from social media and print sources.
Will AI Designer replace fashion designers?
Even bigger questions are likely to arise concerning intellectual property. Will Amazon own the rights to its designs? How will Amazon go about protecting its designs from knockoffs and design pirates?
IACC Workshop with Google (10/8/2020)
The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) will present an online workshop with Google on Thursday, October 8th. The workshop is free to members and $50 for nonmembers.
Annabelle DanielVarda, Legal Director for Trademarks from Google, will cover an overview of Google’s counterfeit policies and measures to combat counterfeits across its products. Of special interest will be a discussion of Google’s new Counterfeit Removal Policy for Google Search launched in June. This new removal policy specifically targets webpages selling counterfeit goods. According to the policy, trademark owners (or their agents) can report and request the removal of a webpage selling counterfeits from Google Search results. Based on the notices received, Google will also develop a demotion signal to penalize frequently reported sites and reduce their visibility in search results.
To register go to the IACC’s training webinar page.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) seized counterfeit major league sports championship rings at JFK International Airport on July 7th. There were two separate shipments, one for eighty-four rings, and another for sixty with an M.S.R.P. $216,000 and $90,000 respectively for the legitimate rings.
This seizure follows a seizure in March of 177 rings in a shipment from China that arrived at JFK International Airport. The seizure was estimated at $11.7 million.
The seized rings infringed MLB, NFL, NHL and NCAA trademarks.
Both seizures were the result of CBPs vigilance in inspecting over one million packages that arrive daily at JFK International Airport. JFK is the largest of nine international mail facilities in the U.S. and handles about sixty percent of all international packages entering the country.
The Better Busines Bureau (BBB) has issued a consumer alert to warn consumers about counterfeit coupons. Counterfeit coupons, along with counterfeit tickets, are not new but in an insidious twist counterfeiters are using counterfeit coupons to steal personal information.
The fakes are often found on Facebook and are used to steal your identity and/or download malware. Among the most frequently distributed fake coupons are: Bath & Body Works, Costco, Aldi, Starbucks, Trade Joe’s. The coupons offer a bonus and free merchandise for sharing the link on social media. The link takes the consumer to a third-party website that asks for personal information to get the coupon while downloading viruses or malware.
On Monday, May 5 Inside Edition ran a short piece on counterfeit N95 masks. It was an undercover sting of a guy with a van in New York City calling the few shops that are open and offering to sell them N95 masks in bulk. Part of the pitch is that the masks were ‘manufactured in China.’ The news reporter for Inside Edition working with a camera crew in a van called the vendor and when he arrived spooked him by questioning him about the masks while filming him.
It wasn’t much of a story, however, Inside Edition, ran a much better story that is available on YouTube: “Coronavirus Crackdowns: Authorities Seize Masks, Fake Tests,” dated March 19, 2020, about authorities in Europe policing the underground market for N95 masks. The second part of the story deals with fake Coronavirus test kits.
Hardly a surprise that the Corona virus has provided an opportunity for unscrupulous fakes. On April 2nd, the Michigan Attorney General notified two business registered in Nevada and operating in Beverly Hills, CA to stop selling fake at-home COVID-19 kits.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has seized two shipments to date. The first on March 20th, CBP officers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) examined a parcel identified as ‘Purified Water Vials’ with a declared value of $196.81. It contained vials filled with a white liquid labeled ‘Corona Virus 2019’ and ‘Virus 1 Test Kit’. There were enough vials for over a hundred test kits. The next day, CBP officers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport seized counterfeit test kits for COVID-19 and other illness, including meningitis, that came from the United Kingdom
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to the public that the Covid-19 test kits are not available to the public but only to authorized medical staff. The Chinese government has had a problem with counterfeiters selling COVID-19 test kits and has taken quick action to stem the problem.
Rapper Marcus Gray a/k/a Flame has won a $2.8 million copyright infringement suit against Katy Perry claiming her 2013 song Dark Horse, which held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s hot 100 chart for four weeks in 2014, infringed his 2009 song Joyful Noise. The basis for the suit is that Gray’s song was widely disseminated, a principle that is referred to as ‘access,’ on YouTube and Spotify.
The jury reached a unanimous decision and determined that 22.5% of the
profits from Dark Horse were owed to Joyful Noise. The pop star, through her
attorneys, plans to appeal the verdict. Her attorneys had argued that the
portion in question was too brief to be protected by copyright and brings up
the larger question of ‘access.’
George Harrison is another of several Pop stars who have been sued for copyright infringement. Harrison was found to have copied parts of an earlier song (My Sweet Lord infringed He’s So Fine by the Chiffons).
A pirated version of the popular movie Avengers: Endgame recently appeared on illegal streaming sites that had feminist and gay scenes and dialogue removed. To cite a few: male heroes hugging, a key scene in which a male character is teaching his daughter to shoot a bow and arrow.
Since the work was pirated, the author’s identity is unknown. However, another ‘sanitized’ film that appeared a year ago was Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). Approximately thirty percent of the movie’s content showing women making decisions, giving orders and fighting in battle was deleted. For example, scenes with Leia yelling at Poe were removed.
The anonymous Star Wars editor/censor left comments and
called his work: “De-feminized fanedit” or “The Chauvinist Cut.” Viewers were
outraged and blasted the ‘sanitized version’ in editorials and blog posts. Rightfully
so. Besides the obvious reason, there was no story after so much of the
original was deleted.
Was this the work of one person
or part of a trend? And will more ‘sanitized’ pirate movie versions appear?
Stay tuned. . .
World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, now in its
twentieth year, was held on June 6th by the Global
Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG) with a goal to sharing best practices and
information among its network of national and regional IPR enforcement and
protection organizations that cover more than fifty countries. Among GACG’s
members are: the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) representing
the United States; the Finnish Anti-Counterfeiting Group; and France’s Union De
One member, the European Intellectual Property
Office (EUIPO, marked the occasion by releasing a report: “2019 Status Reports on IPR Infringement.” The document estimates
the international trade in fake products at 121 billion Euros a year [roughly
$136 billion] with a loss of 468,000 jobs.
Through its Observatory and its international
associates, EUIPO is now funding a specialized crime unit within the European
Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) to help tackle the
I currently have an article posted in PI Magazine’s blog: “The World’s Most Counterfeited Prescription Drug.“