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CHANEL – the event and the afterthoughts.

By Ilona Logvinova

This past week the Art Law Society hosted an exciting lunch time speaker event that I thought would be worthy of a posting – Rachel Waranch, Associate Counsel at CHANEL, Inc. and a fellow Cardozo Alumnus, presented at Cardozo and gave a presentation about her career and related experiences. It was a great presentation overall, and there was something really inspiring about seeing a 2005 Cardozo grad – who interned at Chanel and who was so excited and inspired by her internship experience – be able to then carve her path in a way that made her internship turn into a post-law school job opportunity, about which she now only has the best things to say.

During the presentation Rachel described her experiences prior to joining Chanel – she described her time at Cardozo and her work with both AELJ (she was a staffer and then the Acquisitions Editor) and her involvement with the school newspaper (then the Cardozo Insider), and she talked about the various IP courses that she made sure to take (Trademark and Copyright among the most noteworthy and pertinent to her day-to-day). She also described her everyday experiences as the Intellectual Property attorney within Chanel’s legal department, and the work that she does (average day and otherwise) to protect the brand. The description of her anti-counterfeiting effort was especially interesting and enlightening, because it highlighted the integrated and multifaceted role of the in-house counsel in an international fashion house like Chanel. Some of the key points of her efforts focus on making sure that the brand isn’t misrepresented in any sort of video, print, or online media, and these ongoing monitoring and authorization efforts are an integrated effort between Chanel’s legal, marketing and other internal departments – all working together to make sure that the integrity of the brand is kept in check as sufficiently as possible and at all times.

The discussion inspired some great questions about Rachel’s experiences prior to Chanel and also about her day-to-day role, as well as some more general insights about the state of the law with respect to counterfeiting, brand protection and various theories of liability (the recent Tiffany v. eBay appeal, and other related cases). The presentation was great overall, and we couldn’t have been more excited to take the first step toward exploring our fashion law interest and focus – we hope to have more exciting presentations in store for the Spring, so stay tuned for further updates!