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Retail & Consumer Goods

Retail and consumer goods companies need a law firm capable in virtually all areas of the law, with the size and skills necessary to respond rapidly to the industry’s challenges and opportunities. Vinson & Elkins' services range from providing counsel on security offerings (including initial public offerings) and private equity investments and other transactions, to multi-district, class action, antitrust and intellectual property litigation, counseling, and transactions.

Our clients include consumer goods companies, traditional brick and mortar retailers (including luxury goods and international brand retailers), grocery and supply-chain management companies, and investment firms focused on the retail and consumer goods sector.

In the intellectual property space, high-profile consumer goods require the right kind of experience to manage related intellectual property issues, which at first may seem subtle to the untrained eye. We possess the depth and talent to cover all phases of patent, trademark, and false advertising litigation cases, including the legal issues that surround the complex online technology often at issue. Legal questions can and do arise from technology and branding involving retail and consumer goods. When these issues occur, having experienced counsel is crucial because of the complexity and depth of knowledge required. V&E is prepared to be your counsel to navigate these issues.

Additional Information

Practice Highlights

Transactions

  • Dart Container Corporation in the $1 billion acquisition of Solo Cup Company
  • Kainos Capital in the acquisition of the Slim-Fast brand, including the trademark and global business portfolio, from Unilever
  • Fiesta Mart in the sale of the company, one of largest international and Hispanic grocery chains in the United States, to ACON Investments 
  • A food company with respect to intellectual property in the $110 million acquisition of food brands in Mexico
  • A luxury retail client in the analysis of a company’s mobile wireless technology patents
  • Pet food manufacturer with respect to an outsourcing agreement with a third party to provide purchase order and accounts payable services

Litigation

  • (S.D. Tex.) — Represented a record company in inventorship and ownership dispute involving patents involving compact discs; obtained summary judgment on ownership of patents and inventorship of patents after evidentiary hearing
  • (W.D. Tex.) — Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a bankrupted produce supplier’s Sherman Act Section 1 (distribution channel foreclosure), Sherman Act Section 2 (attempted monopolization), and Clayton Act Section 7 (merger-to-monopoly) claims against a large grocery chain; demonstrated that limitations barred supplier’s claims, notwithstanding its “continuing violation” theory, and that supplier lacked antitrust standing to pursue retail monopolization claims
  • (N.D. Tex.) —  Defended a manufacturer of skin care products in trademark infringement and dilution case; case settled and claims dismissed after mediation
  • (E.D. Tex.) – Represented a large group of online retailers accused of infringement of so-called shopping cart patents related to the online purchase of products and/or services using the retailers’ e-commerce platforms
  • (S.D. Tex.) – Representing a retailer and its officers in a federal securities fraud (10b-5) putative class action
  • (E.D. Tex.) — Represented producer and distributor of entertainment videos in patent infringement case related to automated computer system for developing custom proposals