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Fashion, Cosmetics & Luxury Goods Team of the Year: Kate Spade & Company

The last three years have been a period of flux for Kate Spade & Company – and consequently for the IP team. “I joined the company when it was Liz Claiborne Inc, which owned a portfolio of numerous famous brands,” explains vice president and intellectual property counsel Geri Lynn Elias. “Over the course of the last three years, we have sold off all of the brands except for the Jack Spade and Kate Spade New York family of brands, as well as our jewellery brands and some others. We therefore sold Liz Claiborne, Dana Buchman, Kensie, Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and many more, and changed our company name from Liz Claiborne Inc to Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc, and then to Kate Spade & Company. All of these transactions and name changes were clearly IP related and we had to overcome clearing the names as well as all of the due diligence and reverse M&A on the deals. Settling into a new company, which is very different than the one we started as, has been a great challenge because of different cultures and the way the businesses were run.”

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Issue 71