For years, Polo Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Polo Association have been hooking mallets over the use of their polo player trademarks.
In 1984, the long battle between the U.S. Polo Association and Polo Ralph Lauren began. At the time, a Manhattan federal court granted the USPA permission to use the “double horseman” logo on their merchandise, as long as it would not cause consumer confusion. The USPA’s double jockey logo bears a marked resemblance to Ralph Lauren’s mounted polo player.
The four-month legal saga between fashion mogul Tory Burch and her ex-husband Christopher Burch ended in early January with settlement talks. Although we will not get a chance to see this fashion-inspired “war of the roses” play out in court, there is certainly a legal lesson or two to be learned from this battle of the brands.
The Navajo Nation has been battling Urban Outfitters since 2011 alleging that the apparel and furnishings merchant violated their trademark rights to the name “Navajo”. The controversy started when Urban Outfitters mass-produced more than 20 faux-native items called “Navajo” or “Navaho.” The Natives protested products like the “Hipster Navajo Panty” and the “Navajo Print Flask”.
In early January, Lululemon Athletica lost their appeal to the TTAB over the registration of the wave design shown below.
The TTAB, affirming the decision of the Examining Attorney, held that the wave design was merely an ornamental decoration and that the public would not perceive the applicant’s mark as an indicator of source. The TTAB stated that such a mark could only warrant trademark registration if the applicant could show the mark had inherent or acquired distinctiveness, or that the applicant has used or registered the design in a non-ornamental manner for other goods or services.
Levi Strauss in Trademark Infringement dispute over “V” pocket design.
Levi Strauss & Co. has always been an ardent defender of its pocket’s double arched stitch the, “Arcuate”, commonly known as the “V”. According to Lynn Downey’s book, Levi Strauss & Co. (2007), during World War I, the Arcuate design was deemed by the US Government to be decorative only, and prohibited from being stitched into the pockets because items needed for the war effort, including thread, were being rationed. Rather than lose its trademark, the company had the Arcuate hand-painted onto the pockets. CLICK TO READ MORE…..
Adidas has an issue with World’s “cut-off-w-lines”
So, let’s see. World Industries’ likely stance on this one will be that their sneaker on the left, “Varsity”, is designed with a visually distinct “W” representing World Industries. It’s just, you know, cut-off. What’s that? You think their “cut-off-w-lines” looks exactly like Adidas’ internationally recognized three-stripe trademark that they’ve used since 1952? Hahaha. I mean, really. All you have to do is look at it! World’s “cut-off-w-lines” have arrows on top, and, and, and the little piece there, yeah, the one curving a little bit, no- not that one, that one!…
Burberry Awarded $100 Million in Fight Against Counterfeit Websites
A Manhattan Federal Court recently granted Burberry a $100 million award, ruling that a collusion between Chinese internet counterfeiters infringed upon the brand’s trademark
Gucci sought $120 million in Guess Trademark Infringement lawsuit, and is awarded $4.7 million.
Gucci may have won, but it’s Guess that’s jumping for joy. In the culmination of a three year old legal battle, a U.S. judge gave Gucci a multi-million dollar award, and a permanent injunction against Guess’ use of three of the four challenged designs. So, why no parade of “v” shaped fingers at the House of Gucci?
The International Trademark Association, a group of major fashion and consumer product brands, launched an anticounterfeiting campaign to raise awareness among teens about the detrimental effects that counterfeits have on the global economy and on brand owners, as well as the potential dangers to consumers’ health.
WWD reported that the INTA’s new campaign, dubbed “Unreal,” emphasizes how social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, could be used to reach a target audience of 14- to 18-year-olds.
Because counterfeit items are readily available in many parts of the country, it is not surprising that teenagers buy them without realizing the economic and social consequences of their purchases. It is doubtful that a teenage girl has child labor or trademark infringement on her mind when she rummages through the fake Fendi wallets on Canal street in Manhattan or illegally downloads a song on the Internet.
“These are folks that are obviously the next generation of purchasers,” said INTA President Gregg Marazzo of Estee Lauder. “Even now they have significant purchasing power.” The goal of INTA’s Unreal campaign is to educate teens about the low quality and unreliability of counterfeits while also emphasizing the harmful social effects, including child labor, organized crime, and negative health impacts.
Alan Drewsen, executive director of INTA, said, “It is our hope that this information will influence their decision the next time they are approached by a site or vendor selling counterfeit goods.”