You never know when a million-dollar idea will come into mind, but when it does, it’s in your best interest to put it under protection and not miss out on a payout. Creative thoughts are the bread and butter for some, and it’s certainly necessary in real estate in order to create smooth transactions and processes. Founding Partner of The Fashion Law Group, Manoj Shah, talks with Athena Paquette Cormier about intellectual properties in depth. Having learned everything the hard way, Manoj shares how important it is to protect intellectual assets, especially if you want to be recognized for your ideas while reaping the financial benefits as well. Learn the different ways you can do this and the things you need to check before starting your business.
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Intellectual Property Protection: Protecting Your Creative Thoughts With Manoj Shah
My guest is Manoj Shah. He’s an intellectual property attorney and founder of The Fashion Law Group. Do you have an idea? Do you have a product that may be an improvement to something like a product or a system? These are your property or could be, and they need to be protected. I wanted to invite Manoj to explain to us what exactly is intellectual property, who needs, and how he can help us become better investors by knowing about intellectual property. Welcome, Manoj.
Thank you for having me.
Tell us a little bit about your background. How you came to be in the field of law and how long you’ve been practicing?
I started my legal career years ago. I started a law firm here in downtown Los Angeles, practicing what’s called Toxic Tort Defense Litigation. I was defending big corporations that were getting sued for allegedly exposing people to toxic chemicals like asbestos and benzene. I got my legal training at that firm. It was great legal training. However, I did not enjoy the practice area of taking depositions of elderly people. Drafting and arguing motions, and then going to trial. It was a litigation firm. I did that for about five and a half years and then transitioned abruptly into my own practice.
While I was there, I needed a passion project to take my mind away from the day-to-day rigors of taking depositions of these people that were ill. I was into streetwear fashion and clothes. I had some discretionary income, so a friend of mine and I decided to start a streetwear company. It was spawned by the office manager at the law firm telling me I couldn’t wear a t-shirt into the office. On the weekdays, I’d be sleeping under my desk, filling a ton of hours, making the firm a ton of money. On the weekends, I drive down to Covina and I’d be sitting with my friend talking about how to protect my intellectual property like my screen prints, trademarks, and my trade secrets. The more and more I did both, I realized I did not have a passion for the type of law that I was practicing. I also realized that my clothing company wasn’t going anywhere because I was only partially committed to it. I was one foot in and one foot out.
The other realization that I had was that all my friends that were in the apparel industry would always ask me legal questions and say, “You’re a lawyer, what do I do about this?” I would give them free legal advice. The more and more I did that, I realized, “If the advice that I’m giving them is working, maybe their business is growing.” After thinking about it and realizing that I was not enjoying myself in the practice area that I was in, I decided to make a transition into representing essentially small business owners. Because I had been going through it on my own, starting my company from scratch, I am figuring out how to protect my intellectual property. How to properly form my company, what type of contracts do I need, and figuring out my own network of people that I could work with? That’s the type of service as outside general counsel that I provide to a lot of my clients.
You were like your own guinea pig.
There’s something to be said about learning on your own dime. I can stand in the shoes of a lot of my clients.
A lot of investors, that’s how they learn. Until you have skin in the game, you really don’t learn that fast. You learn a lot faster if you have your money in it. Did you intend to specialize in fashion?
The initial intent was to specialize in the streetwear industry. If you’re a fan of surfing street cultures, you’ve probably heard of a brand called Stüssy, a brand called Rusty or some of these old school surf brands which I grew up on. As I was coming up, it transitioned more into streetwear culture, which is a lot of these brands on Fairfax that you see in the hundreds. I wanted to represent companies who did that. That was the initial intent. One of the things that I realized at the time that I was starting was because I had experience in that industry, I was seeing a lot of these brands being acquired by larger businesses. They were either being acquired or they were being infused, invested in with a lot of money. I would start asking some of my friends that were doing these M&A deals for these brands. Like, “How do I get involved in that? That seems like a more exciting area of law to be in.” I moved to New York, that’s where all the apparel industry lawyers were.
I started looking into it and there was a first of its kind program that was training lawyers in fashion law. Fashion law is a huge umbrella or like a practice area that covers not just intellectual property, but corporate transactional work, employment work, and international regulations. It was exciting for me to have that under one roof. Because I was already in the industry, it made sense for me to transition to that area. I was also looking at it from a marketing and branding perspective for myself, where there was not a lot of lawyers at that time in 2011, marketing and branding themselves as fashion lawyers. The work that I do is akin to a lot of my peers. I have a lot of clients in the industry workspace, in the apparel industry space. It spans from the manufacturer, the screen printer or the sales rep. It runs the gamut, the stylist or the showroom. People know that come into my fold as a result of hearing about what I do.
Maybe we can give people some basics about your field. First of all, I have to say full disclosure, you did my trademark stuff for Mortgage Boot Camps. Thank you very much. I learned a lot from going through that. I was referred to you by a friend of mine who wrote a book about how to protect yourself. She’s a 33-year cop and felt she wanted to share her knowledge. You don’t only do fashion. Those are both very different things that you helped us with.
I’m a business lawyer at the end of the day. I specialize in a very specific space. Those skill sets translate into all areas of law. You should be a lawyer, first and foremost in terms of what it is you’re doing. Whether you’re doing a corporate transaction, helping someone acquire a business or, you’re helping someone protect their intellectual property. The basics of my practice are four-fold, its corporate transactional work. Meaning I help people set up their businesses, acquire businesses, or take on investment. I help clients with transactional matters, negotiating licensing deals, endorsement opportunities, collaborations between different brands. I also help protect intellectual property. That’s one of my core practice areas, and soft intellectual property work meaning copyrights and trademarks. I leave the patent-related work to specialists. You have to be licensed by the patent bar through the USPTO for patents. There’s also some employment work that I do as it relates to drafting employment contracts or independent contractor agreement for clients.
A lot of investors hire out subcontractors, so that would be an area for you to help. Tell us a little bit about what exactly is intellectual property. What do people mean by trademark and all these marks that you hear?
Intellectual property is creations of the mind that people are trying to protect for two reasons. They’re for recognition and for financial benefit. The types of creations that they’re trying to protect fall into four categories. They fall into patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Patents essentially protect inventions. You would invent something and you want to exclude others from using what you’ve created. You want to have the rights to it for twenty years. You will try to patent it. You’re protecting new and useful things that have utility. Copyrights protect tangible forms of expression. If you have an idea and you put it into a specific medium like a book, painting, or a film. It protects those types of things and those last for a specific period of time. They expire depending on a few different reasons. Trademarks are names, logos, symbols, slogans that you’re trying to protect or identify as specific to the brand that you have, whether it’s a good or service.
You could trademark the name that you’re creating like Mortgage Bootcamp, but then you also protect the logo, like Apple’s logo, and they’re two separate things is what you’re saying.
You have a service mark, a trademark, or a slogan mark. Those are the three categories or types of marks. They’re in separate forms as well. They can be in a wordmark form or they could be in a design mark form. Those are two forms that each of those categories can be.
Do you have some examples of what a would you trademark versus what would your service mark?
Trademarks are split up into 45 different categories. There’re 35 different categories of goods and about ten categories of services. It depends on what your business does. If your business is in the business of selling things, you would categorize it based on one of the 35 categories of goods. If your business provides a service, you would choose from one of the ten different categories of services, whichever one best fits. You can do a hybrid. You can register it as a good and as a service, depending on your business. A lot of apparel companies, they’re registering it as a good because they’re selling clothes, but they also run a retail store and then provide service.People try to protect the creations of the minds for two reasons - recognition and financial benefit. Click To Tweet
You’d actually truncate those and protect them separately.
You can choose different categories to protect at the time that you’re applying for your trademark.
What can you not protect? For example, someone would come to you and say, “I want to protect this.” You actually gave me a couple of things where you said, “No, you can’t protect that.”
You want to make sure that your mark falls into three specific categories of how it would be classified. There’s arbitrary, fanciful, and suggestive. The top three metrics for distinguishing between marks and then the bottom two are descriptive or generic. What they mean by generic is, say Apple was a company that was just selling apples and they wanted to protect the Apple logo, because they were selling apples. They would not be able to do that because it speaks directly to what they are doing. Kleenex lost its trademark because it’s referred to specifically as a company that sells Kleenexes. It became so ubiquitous within the marketplace of what tissue was, that it lost meaning.
You don’t even say tissue too much anymore. Everyone says Kleenex.
They’re things that are descriptive of what you do. For example, I couldn’t register The Fashion Law Group. They said, “You’re saying exactly what you do. You’re saying that you’re a law firm that practices fashion law. That’s not protectable. It’s generic and descriptive.” Certain times when something is descriptive, however, and it acquires what’s called secondary meaning in the marketplace. The consumers that are buying that good or that service, they readily identify your brand as that after five years’ time. If you can show them the secondary meaning, you can get it past the hurdle of getting it registered.
I’m curious about this, can you trademark or service mark a process? Let’s say a house flipper, for example, has a certain way of doing house flipping that no one does. Is there a way to protect that?
How would that person that’s flipping homes and has created a process for flipping homes be sharing this idea? Because the whole point and perspective is to either gain recognition or financial gain. Keeping these ideas or processes to yourself, for the most part. If you were to share it, that’s where the issue of, “How do I get paid for sharing it?” There are business patents in specific processes. The best way to protect a process is, in my mind, is a trade secret. It’s having an agreement through contract law that says, “I have this process for flipping homes. It’s unique to me. I need you to sign this NDA so that I can share the process with you and that you don’t go out and use it to benefit yourself versus benefiting me.” Contract law to protect your trade secret and that this particular scenario where you’re talking about the process of flipping homes. Go with trade secrets because it’s a process that’s specific to this person’s business. It’s not readily ascertainable by someone in the general public. It’s made as unique to him.
I see that as a problem and a risk for a lot of business owners. They figured out how to do something really well. Other people are failing at that something. House flipping is an example. It seems to me you’d want to protect that, but let’s say you invite an assistant. You get help in the office and they’re observing how you do things. They could actually copy your manual or copy your steps or whatever you want to call it. They’re observing everything in your office. That person could then take that information and go work for someone else and take your great ideas with them.
Definitely, when you have processes that are unique to you, trade secrets with respect to your business. You should have an agreement in place, whether it’s an independent contractor agreement or an employment agreement that embeds some of these trade secret provisions within the contract that says, “As soon as your contract is terminated, you have to return all materials and copies back to the office.” The one problem with respect to protecting trade secrets once you dispose of them is, the residual knowledge that these employees or independent contractors have just by working on the project.
The deal with this for some of my software engineers that are working at startups where they have the skill set that’s unique to them, they have been trained on it. They go into a startup and then the information that they already have gets mixed with the information that they’re getting to build this new cool software. In those types of contracts, we put residual rights clauses, which allow them to move forward with the knowledge that they already had or have gained through the process of working with that particular employer. It can be challenging.
That’s because it’s in their head now.
How do you get rid of that? You can’t.
It’s simulated, so then how do you prove that they learned it with you?
That’s why there are timelines associated. Everything should be done in writing, at least with effective communication, so that you can track it. I shared this code with this developer at this time. I shared this information with this developer at this time. This client work with them. He or she could have only known them through their work here with the company. A lot of those trade secrets come down to the client and customer lists, things like that as well.
Can you address that? Another area that’s touchy for people is their client list. Who owns the client list? I see this with realtors when their assistants leave. I’m not picking on assistants, but that’s usually how you get in. You discover things that way. How do you protect your client list from someone else?
That’s where it comes down to the watertight contract that you sign with them when you bring them on. If you knew your client list is worth something, you make sure that they sign a trade secret and a confidentiality provision within the employment or independent contractor agreement. These things are some of the most heavily litigated things in the state of California. Trade secrets litigation is booming because that’s an end-around to non-competes and non-solicit provisions, which are looked at with a lot of scrutinies when it comes to the court. They don’t honor non-competes or non-solicits.
A lot of people are forced to sign those.
Non-competes are viewed as a restraint against trades. Courts look down on them. It’s the end-around that was trade secrets. You have to find an overly broad trade secrets provision that prevents them from using some of the knowledge that they gain while on the job.
I don’t know if you deal with a lot of investors but I try and frame it that way. Is there an example of someone you’ve helped that had a service mark?
I helped Mortgage Bootcamp. They provided financial support to people that are going through the mortgage process. I teach them and educate them on the processes associated with your financial service.
Let’s talk about websites because that’s a big thing. A lot of people’s whole business is driven on their website. Anyone can look at their website, see stuff and replicate it. All of their contents are there. A website has a lot of stuff. Videos, actual content, and the look of it. How would you protect someone’s website from being pillaged?
The content from a website is very difficult because it’s streamed over the internet. There are certain things you can protect and there are certain things you can’t protect. Maybe through copyright law, you can protect the copy associated with the content that’s uploaded onto the website. The look and feel maybe through trade dress, which is the design, shape or color scheme of something, can be utilized to protect how a website is even organized. That becomes very expensive and they’ve copied your copy word for word.
You should know that the moment that you put something into the stream of commerce, it has what’s called common-law copyright protection. You don’t have to do the registration. There are different penalties that you can get as a result of something that’s not registered as a copyright. You can get attorney’s fees and things of that nature when you register a copyright. If you want to protect the copy of your website, register the copy as something that’s in the literary realm, if you want to put some photographs, copyright the photograph.
How do you do that? My sister does a lot of photography. If she wanted to protect her pictures, they’re pictures of anything anyone can take pictures of, but they’re her pictures. They’re unique to her. What step would she go through? Say she takes a picture, what does she do next?
It’s not a difficult process. You just have to log on to Copyright.gov and there’s a form that you fill out. She should talk to a lawyer, someone like myself, before filling it out if she wants to consult. We can walk her through the boxes to check and how to upload the images, but it’s that straightforward. It’s filling out the form filed. It is making sure that you list the appropriate parties. If she’s not the one that took the photograph, she also has to list the actual photographer, including herself. All this information that’s required when you’re filing, I can walk them through it. It’s not difficult.
The same would apply to the content. Let’s say I wrote the content that then goes on to my website, so I have that in a Word document. What would I do with that word document? Is it the same thing?
Yes, it would be uploaded as a specimen.
Let’s say you did one of these trademarks and service marks and you find out someone took your stuff, what do you do next?
I deal with this stuff all the time. It becomes a question of fact. If someone did take your stuff and they’re just knocking you off, you know when you see it. You send them a letter saying, “Knock this off. Otherwise, this is what’s going to happen.” You typically start with the letter. There are instances when you get a letter. I’ve gotten a letter because my client was trying to register a trademark. This was before I got involved. There was another company that had been in the marketplace, but they hadn’t filed a registration for a trademark. They were claiming that they were first to market and that they’ve been selling across the United States and they had common law rights, which trumped my client’s rights. It became an issue of like, “Let’s investigate. Let’s see when you guys went to market versus when they went to market.”
It turned out based on our investigation, that my client had improperly listed the incorrect data first use. We were able to combat their letter by saying, “We came first, so our rights usurp your rights.” It becomes, “Let’s settle this because we don’t want to litigate.” There are instances where parties can’t agree as to who came first. They don’t believe the facts before them, and then those issues get litigated. It’s very expensive to litigate. They can also start outside of the context of a civil lawsuit. They can even start in the registration process, someone can file a petition to have your trademark canceled or they can oppose your application. All types of ways to prevent people from moving forward with a mark that they think are theirs, or they have a right to.
When you registered to want this mark, people can object and how long do they have to object? Is there a time?
Essentially what happens is you file the trademark. It gets assigned to an examiner and takes about three months to get assigned to someone. Once you get assigned, they do their research, looking at the database of registered marks and see if there’s anything out in the database that’s confusingly similar to yours. If there is, then they’ll issue what’s called an office action, and you’re going to have to clarify why it’s not the same. I was trying to register the mark Crystal Bar, and they came back with an office action that said that the mark Gem Bar was the same thing and I was baffled. We had to get into the nuances of why a crystal and a gem are different. Once you prove to the examiner that there’s nothing out there that you’re not stepping on anybody’s toes, there’s nothing confusingly similar in the database.
They’ll issue what’s called a notice of allowance if you filed an intent to use the mark. Meaning by the time you get your notice of allowance, you have six months to provide specimen showing the mark in use in commerce or it’ll be pushed through to publication automatically if you filed an in-use mark. If they’ve not found anything confusingly similar to oppose your registration, once it gets to the publication period, it gets published in the Gazette. The Gazette is circulated. People have 30 days to oppose the mark. Once it passes the 30-day threshold and if no one opposes it, it rarely ever gets opposed once it gets the publication, the mark will get registered within eleven weeks.
From start to finish, if there are no big deal challenges, then how much time was that? Five or six months?
It’s a little bit longer. I don’t know if you remember from our experiences, it can take between seven and thirteen months. There’s not just one office that’s handling all of these. The government has contracts with a lot of different law firms to prosecute these registrations as they come in and do this on their off time. It’s a slow process that needs to be fixed and it needs to be a little bit quicker, but it is what it is.
That’s a little frustrating if someone’s trying to start a business and they’ve got to wait that long. You don’t want to start putting stuff out like that if you’re not going to get approved.
The bureaucracy of the government is very frustrating. It does slow up the process of putting out content and building your business up when you’re nervous that maybe in thirteen months, you’re going to have to change the entire name of your company.
Especially if you’ve got print, all that stuff is costly.
That’s where the intellectual property lawyers and people like myself come into play where we say, “This is what’s out there. These are the risks that you have moving forward.” It’s better to be apprised of those risks moving forward because you are investing your time and money into it. Some people fall in love with their brand name and it’s hard to come off of that. When you’re pot committed, where you put all your eggs in one basket, screen printing this logo on all of your shirts and make name tags are things that I see all the time.The best way to protect a process is a trade secret. Have an agreement through contract law regarding your unique process. Click To Tweet
A lot of people do fall in love with their logo. It’s your baby. You’re invested in it.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that you fall in love in an educated way because you got to think about it. If you’re going to invest your time, energy and effort into this brand name, you want to make sure that you have the right to own it. The trademarking process is beneficial in two ways. One, it’s you gaining the protection of the mark that you love but also knowing what else is out there. You may be in love with it and think everything is fine, but you hire the lawyer to research and analyze what else is out there. You come to find there’s this other brand that hasn’t filed anything but is in the marketplace and is in a similar market space as you. That’s a headache that you’re going to have to be ready for later on that line. The copyright, trademark and patent litigation are expensive.
It’s $50,000 and up.
You better be really convinced if you’re going to do that. Can someone trademark their own name?
You can trademark your own name. People start clothing lines based on their own name. That’s not a problem. You just have to sign a form a consent form attesting to the fact that this is you. You’re a real person and you’re trying to register the mark in this particular category. When it comes to your surname, however, like if you just wanted to register your last name, like Versace is someone’s surname, that would need to acquire secondary meaning in the marketplace. It needs to be known in the market place that Versace was Gianni Versace. It would have to be in the marketplace for five years to acquire a certain level of fame to be protected.
It’s possible. A couple of people asked me, can you trademark letters and numbers? B2B is business-to-business. Could you trademark B2B or something like that?
It just depends on the category that you’re trying to register in. If you’re offering business services and you want to be called B2B, it’s probably not. It’s probably too generic for the service that you’re providing. If you want it, you want to own a specific font, you can’t necessarily do that because fonts have a utilitarian purpose associated with them. They don’t want all kinds of crazy litigation going on as a result of someone trying to protect a font. You can be protected in a sense from a common law perspective if it’s very distinctive and artistic if the font has different characteristics that can be protected within.
Some famous people might want to protect their initials or their signature.
You can protect your signature as part of your logo.
If you think of investors, can you think of anything that an investor would need to do a mark on?
What type of investor?
A real estate investor.
He’s investing through his company?
He created his own company.
If your investor has created a company and he’s offered his services on investment services into the company, he would go out or want to go out and register service mark associated with his business. We want to protect the copy of the information that he shares on his website. Maybe he’s sharing some pie charts that he’s come up about investing like his photographs. Anything any other type of entrepreneur would want to protect information that they’re sharing publicly, and they want to derive a benefit from is protectable via copyrighted trademark.
What did you say about protecting your process was again? If someone has a process or a way of attracting investors or investing.
If you have a process that is unique to your business, before you share it, depending on who you share it with. If it’s protectable via patent law, where there’s a business-oriented patent associated with that, you want to explore that. Maybe speak to a patent lawyer, but for the most part, you’re going to protect processes, patterns, client lists, and formula through trade secrets. You’re going to want to embed those trade secrets provisions into the contracts that you have with parties that you’re sharing information with.
You’re here in California?
I’m here in California, but the type of work that I do is a very generalized work. Some of the stuff becomes a little bit more nuanced, things like a trademark, copyrights, entity formations, those things we can handle from California but we span the entire country.
If I had a guy in Florida, he can contact you here to do his copyright stuff?
I also have an UpCounsel in New York that works with me. We do have a little bit of reach. We’re growing and expanding
Do you have any parting words for us, Manoj?
If you’re starting a business, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to protect your intellectual property, from the perspective of it. If you want to derive a financial benefit from it, it’s good to have you Is dotted and Ts crossed. Whether that means you require a patent, copyright, trademark, or a contract that embed certain trade secret provisions. Take those necessary steps because walking it backward, it becomes a lot more difficult to hold on to those ideas so that you can actually gain a benefit from them. Time and time again, I have clients that are like, “I wasn’t I wasn’t planning on giving it to them, they were just going to use it for my business and helping me out,” and then they’re off using this person’s client list.
They’ve created their own trademark that looks similar to what they created. There are mechanisms for fighting that stuff. Beyond that, with respect to copyrights, registering your copyright can allow you to get additional penalties against someone because once you registered it, it’s viewed as having put people on notice that registration exists. It allows these attorneys that are filing copyright infringement claims to say, “I’m entitled to my attorney’s fees for having to bring this claim they should have been on notice.” As opposed to being limited to whatever the court has the discretion to award you.
I love the idea that you can do some pre-research. Let’s say, I want to register something. You’ll research to see how difficult or what roadblocks we’re going to run into.
That’s the goal of registering, at least for trademarks, is twofold. One, it’s protecting your trademark. Two, also knowing what is out there. Let’s figure it out and let’s have an honest discussion about what’s going to happen in the future. You may love this mark, but you may not love it in six months when someone is sending you to cease and desist letter. That’s the challenge because you never know what’s going to happen. Our job as lawyers is to advise you about what could happen. They don’t happen all the time and people understand that these things are expensive.
They don’t want to go into litigation, but you never know. There are some people out there that are very litigious. We went through this process with one of my clients where I had done the research, everything was fine. The USPTO even issued a publication of our mark because they didn’t find anything confusingly similar in the database. Another brand came back and the brand that we had was two words, the brand that they have is one word and one of the words was identical. They were claiming that we were diluting their mark and that we were confusingly similar to their mark. This particular client was selling high-end women’s ballgowns, $10,000 and up.
The company that was suing us was selling really crappy jeans. I didn’t get it. There was no way that people could look at this in the market and be confused. I have no idea how you’re getting to that point but they pushed it. My client didn’t want to fight it. He was tired. It got to him and he gave up like, “I’m done. Leave me alone. I don’t want to have to deal with this anymore.” Litigation, in any sense, is always like that. It’ll wear you down. I’ve been in litigation for a long time. We filed for bankruptcy, but we’re still plugging away at them every day. It doesn’t go anywhere. After my client has run out of money, out of principle, we are still fighting for it.
I have a suspicion that people might be reading and going well, “I think I should have registered this. I’m thinking I should protect this or maybe I should check.” Should people call you or email you and confess like, “I’ve been doing this and am I okay or not?” Should they throw it out there and see what you say?
I’d say emailing is better than calling. I’m always on my email. Sometimes I don’t pick up my phone when they’re an unrecognized number. Send me an email with your name and all the information that’s pertinent to the issue that you’re facing, and someone from my office will get back to you. My email address the M@TheFashionLawGroup. My name is Manoj. I’m in the process of redoing my website, too. The website is TheFashionLawGroup.com.Make sure that you fall in love with your brand or logo in an educated way if you’re going to invest your time, energy and effort into it. Click To Tweet
Thank you so much for joining me, Manoj. It was cool to know all about this and hopefully, we’ve helped people, especially investors, know a little bit more than they did before and hopefully protect what they are out there building.
Next time, we’re going to have Atty. Jane Euler who will talk to us about protecting your assets before marriage and in the event of a divorce. Please join me also for Mortgage Mondays. I’ll be talking about how to avoid or get rid of PMI when you’re buying a house. There are four ways and I’m going to share all of them. If you want to join our mailing list, you just have to text 444999. In the message box, you’re going to type in your email address and keyword MORTGAGE FUND. Thank you all for joining me. Thank you again, Manoj. It was really a pleasure talking with you.
You’re very welcome.
- The Fashion Law Group
- Atty. Jane Euler – Future episode
About Manoj Shah
TFLG founder Manoj Shah focuses on both litigation and transactional work related to business and finance, intellectual property, labor & employment, and international law. Manoj counsels individuals trying to launch their own labels and protects the rights of creative people as company owners and employees.
Before starting TFLG, Manoj worked as a litigation associate for 6 years. As a litigator, he gained extensive litigation expertise defending product liability and premises liability actions for companies such as CBS Corporation, FMC Corporation, Sears, Roebuck & Company, Western Auto Supply Company, Genuine Parts Company, Albertson’s, Pepsi, and various commercial real estate corporations.
In addition to his training as a litigator, Manoj formerly co-owned a streetwear company where he developed industry-wide contacts and learned first-hand the extremely competitive nature of the fashion industry.
He is a streetwear apparel enthusiast and an avid fan of USC football, mixed martial arts, and boxing.