Stella McCartney Wins 'FUR FREE FUR' Fake Fur Trademark Battle With USPTO

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Call the case Stella McCartney vs the US Govt — and Stella won.

Stella McCartney is one of most most committed voices in the global sustainability moment. In a trademark case that was a bit esoteric for the USPTO, McCartney sought to trademark the concept ‘FUR FREE FUR’ and not a specific textile composition. Stella wanted a category of existing and future fabrics not even created to live under her proposed ‘FUR FREE FUR” trademark label.

For two years, the designer’s attorneys have communicated back and forth with US trademark officials, who refused to grant her the trademark, saying the three words do not identify the source of McCartney’s products in the same way as say, an “LV” logo on a bag identifies the Louis Vuitton brand. Stella refused to yield, arguing that carefully developing materials that “incorporate the look and feel of fur but without any animal cruelty,” and then applying the “Fur Free Fur” tags on products, complete with the same font at Stella McCartney’s main logo was 1) totally congruent with her brand imagery but also 2) a word puzzle that required customers to think deeply about the product.

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The first use of the word FUR “refers exclusively to animal fur,”  stating that the goods are “animal fur free.” In the second instance, “FUR refers to imitation fur.” 

Thus, “the two different meanings of the term ‘fur’ within [McCartney’s] single mark creates a logical paradox … suggesting that the goods are both fur-free and made of fur at the same time,” and thereby, not descriptive. Therefore, the three words are not merely descriptive and qualified for a trademark.

On appeal, two of the three judges agreed with Stella McCartney’s lawyers, and the very important trademark will be given to her. via The Fashion Law.

Mixing Nelson Mandela's Spirit With Navajo + Peruvian Practices, Londolozi South Africa Opens Healing House Spa

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Londolozi is one of South Africa’s original private game reserves, considered to be a pillar of global ecotourism. The word Londolozi comes from the Zulu word meaning ‘Protector Of All Living Things’. The Londolozi Game Reserve lived up to its name, in the reflections of Dave Varty’s 2013 blog post ‘Remembering Madiba’.

As the helicopter landed in the front of Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa and outstepped Nelson Mandela, I knew that this would be a defining moment in my life. Madiba had been sent by an old friend, Enos Mabuza, to spend a few quiet days relaxing at Londolozi after weeks of hectic media exposure following his release from prison earlier that year.

A rare photograph of Nelson Mandela arriving at Londolozi in 1991.

A rare photograph of Nelson Mandela arriving at Londolozi in 1991.

During these amazing days at Londolozi, Nelson Mandela saw Africa’s Big Five wildlife — lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo — for the first time in his life. The term ‘Africa’s Big Five’ was originally coined by big-game hunters, and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Today the term is more frequently used by safari operators offering well-heeled tourists glimpses of animal majesty.

It was at Londolozi that Mandela — or Madiba — as he was called with reverence in South Africa and beyond, came to understand the power of the eco tourism safari industry as a development tool. Eco tourism promised opportunity, careers, social upliftment, jobs and education for those who had been caught in the indefensible disaster of the apartheid trap. 

Londolozi is situated on the Sand River it the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park. In 1993, Londolozi became the first game reserve in the world to be accorded Relais & Châteaux status.

This award came nearly 70 years after Londolozi founders Charles Boyd Varty and Frank Unger, came up with a plan to buy an almost inaccessible piece of land on the banks of the Sand River, camp under its 1,000-year-old ebony trees, and run hunting safaris there.  In 1969, Varty’s grandsons Dave and John, and Dave’s wife Shan took stewardship of Londolozi, ditching guns for cameras in an entrepreneurial launch of South Africa’s first photographic safaris.

This Could Just Be The Most Forward-Thinking Wellness Offering in Africa

Writing for CNTraveller, Francesca Syz takes us to Londolozi and the reopening of its most exclusive offering — the three-bedroom Private Granite Suites, positioned perfectly for watching elephants frolic from its new bar, and the 10-bedroom Varty Camp, which sits in the footprint of the family’s original mud rondavels. 

Londolozi has also opened its first spa, the Healing House, and London-based Syz describes it as potentially “the most forward-thinking wellness offering in Africa.” In a story that spans generations Dave and Shan Varty have been replaced by their children Bronwyn and Boyd, who are the newest visionaries behind Londolozi.

Trained by Oprah’s life coach Martha Beck, the duo is heavily impacted by Beck’s belief “that the senses are deadened by desk jobs and smartphones and that you need to learn to listen to your body, the ultimate navigational tool, to tap into your innate wisdom”. Beck struck a deep cord in the modern-day hearts of Bronwyn and Boyd.

Impacted by their studies with Navaho medicine men and Peruvian shamans, sound — long considered to an original healing fix — is at the center of their rituals. These practices render Londolozi’s new spa as a fusion experience of ancient global practices that now harness the energy of the African wilderness. Read on at CNTraveller.

Dem. Rep Raul Grijalva Expands Proposed Protections Under CECIL Animal Trophies Act

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US Rep. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), the top House Democrat overseeing endangered species legislation on trophy hunting, has expanded Endangered Species Act protections with new requirements that legal animal imports must help conserve the animal’s species.

Grijalva named the legislation — not introduced for the first time — the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act, or CECIL Animal Trophies Act, after Cecil the African lion whose 2015 killing by American dentist and big-game hunter Walter Palmer caused an international uproar.

CECIL would prohibit elephant and lion trophy imports from Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and it comes at a time when many Trump supporters who are big-game hunters are infuriated by delays in easing restrictions against killing the animals.

“The bottom line is they are afraid as shit to get off the fence,” Dwight Miloff, a frequent trophy hunter, told The Hill. “They know if they get off the fence the anti-hunting people will be up in arms, and if they don’t grant them the people who put in the money for the permit will be pissed off.”

MIloff is referring to trophy importation documents for elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Elephant permits from Tanzania and South Africa have been processed, but Rep. Grijalva’s expended legislation would cover Tanzania, where the situation is dire for elephants.

The Trump administration’s intention to relax restrictions on big-game hunting met massive public outcries in November 2017, causing Trump to issue a Tweet a few days later: “Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!”

Since March 2018, each request to import a trophy elephant has been considered on a “case-by-case” basis.

Grijalva’s bill would also make trophy importers pay all the costs of the federal import review program, terminate the Trump administration’s International Wildlife Conservation Council and mandate that the Government Accountability Office examine whether trophy hunting actually helps conservation.

In the larger US population, there is massive support for restrictions on trophy hunting among all political parties.