aNb Media News, May 11, 2010

WE tv and Wedding Central Sign with 360ep

WE tv and Wedding Central announced that it will begin a licensing program. 360ep, Inc., will exclusively represent the networks for all licensing initiatives.

WE tv showcases stories of real-life drama, humor, and conflict that women experience throughout key life stages, from getting married to having children and raising a family. Wedding Central is the first and only 24/7 multiplatform destination dedicated to weddings, dating, and relationships.

360ep will seek out opportunities to create consumer products based on the popular shows on WE tv and Wedding Central, including Bridezillas, My Fair Wedding, Raising Sextuplets, and The Locator, among others. The wedding programming showcased on these networks particularly lends well to licensing tie-ins with manufacturers of stationery, reception décor, china, gifts, bridal dresses, and accessories. In addition, 360ep will explore licensing opportunities in categories such as apparel, games, mobile content, and novelties.

Promotions at CBS Consumer Products

P.J. Pierce and Maryann Martin both have been promoted to vice-president for CBS Consumer Products (CCP).

Pierce, who was named vice-president of licensing, heads up the division’s soft goods category. He is responsible for developing strategic branded licensing partnerships in apparel, accessories, and related categories for CBS’s entire portfolio of properties including current TV shows such as America’s Next Top Model, 90210, and the CSI franchise as well as classic TV shows such as Star Trek, The Brady Bunch, and Twilight Zone.

As vice-president of operations, Martin will continue to run the operations area, including developing and maintaining the contract management system and asset management and approvals systems. She also contributes to the product development of video games, publishing, and live shows, and is the brand expert for the CSI and NCIS franchises, Criminal Minds, and Ghost Whisperer.

In addition, John Punturieri was promoted from manager of operations to director of operations. He manages CCP’s accounting and financial reporting systems, and he runs all retail and online store operations.

Uniqlo, Konami in T-Shirt Deal for Metal Gear Solid

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., announced a partnership with Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo Co., Ltd. to produce an exclusive collection of limited edition T-shirts inspired by the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for the PSP system. The line is the latest from Uniqlo’s T-shirt Project, which consists of limited-edition collections of T-shirts designed by renowned artists, designers, photographers, and musicians. The two companies previously collaborated in 2008 on a collection of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots T-shirts.

Innovation First to Defend its Hexbug Brand

An intellectual property infringement lawsuit was filed recently by Innovation First, Inc., and Innovation First Labs, Inc., against Urban Trend, LLC and two of its principals, Robert G. Kushner and Michael Stoll, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The lawsuit contends that the defendants committed trade dress infringement, violations of the Lanham Act, and other wrongful conduct in offering knock-offs of the Hexbug Nano micro robotic toys designed and sold by Innovation First. Innovation First introduced the popular Hexbug Nano Micro Robotic Creature toy line in 2009 and has achieved record sales at major retailers in the U.S. and abroad.

The company asserts that the lawsuit against Urban Trend is representative of how it intends to vigorously pursue violators at every step in the supply chain including manufacturers, distributors, sales representatives, and even the retail outlets who profit from infringing products.