Forecasting the Trump Administration's First 100 Days


With the 2016 election in the rearview mirror, manufacturers must be mindful of the early initiatives you can expect from Congress and the new administration. With a return to one-party rule, the coming congressional term is likely to be among the most active in recent memory.

President-elect Trump’s appointment of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff signals that, rather than battling the Washington establishment, Trump has now embraced it to get results. Similarly, the decision to replace New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with Vice President-elect Mike Pence as transition team lead means the president-elect understands that, campaign rhetoric aside, his early success will depend on partnering with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Continue reading this entry

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

The Manufacturing Industry Advisor team wishes you a happy holiday. We’re thankful for your continued support of our blog! We’ll be back to our regular posting next week. Have a great weekend!

Expect IoT to Continue Redefining Customer Experience in 2017

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is widely discussed as a revolutionary movement that will continue to have a pervasive impact on our personal and professional lives. But, as is the case with most technological advances that make life more convenient, there are some considerations that must be understood and appreciated by manufacturers as a result of their new symbiotic relationship with customers.

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You’ve Gotta Keep ‘em Separated: Star Athletica v Varsity Brands and the Copyrightability of Elements of Useful Articles


Later this month, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Star Athletica v Varsity Brands. The central question presented asks the Supreme Court to clarify the appropriate test that should be used to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under United States copyright law. While the case involves cheerleading uniforms, the ruling may have significant implications for fashion designers and manufacturers, as well as other creators and manufacturers of products that have both aesthetic and utilitarian functions, particularly given the historical hesitation to grant copyright protection to apparel design generally. While fabric patterns and designs have long been eligible for copyright protection, the scope of protection for other design elements of apparel has been unclear. This will be the first time that the Supreme Court will decide a copyright case for apparel. Continue reading this entry

Fashion Branding: What's in a Name?


The fashion industry, more so than almost any other industry, is driven by individuals — individuals who capture the essence of a desired persona with their unique clothing and accessory designs. Individuals whose very names evoke images of glamour and style. Individuals whose names have become famous international corporate brands.

Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Versace. Most people hear these words and think of things, not individuals. This association that your brain makes, going from the words to the collection of apparel and accessories synonymous with those words, is exactly what trademark law is meant to protect. As such, it is illegal for anyone other than the owners of the trademark to use these words, or similar words, in most commercial endeavors. Continue reading this entry