Victoria's Secret Loses Its Pink--
In a recent London-based lawsuit, the famous lingerie line lost their ability to use the "Pink" trademark. Victoria's Secret, an L Brands line, was sued by Thomas Pink, an English brand specializing in dressing men for work and formal events. While you can find Thomas Pink items in America at various retail stores like Macy's, the brand thought VS's use of "Pink" brought confusion to the market.
A trademark is a symbol used in the market to signal the source, and often quality, of goods. Popular trademarks are often registered with their respective nation's trademark office, and provide protection to the brand. Thomas Pink accused Victoria's Secret of infringement based on confusion, claiming the separation of brands may not be distinct enough to shoppers seeking ties and dress shirts--not hoodies and panties.
The men's line was delighted to find a judge agree the trademarks were too similar for comfort in this global market. “We are delighted with the outcome of this case, and will continue to protect the considerable investment that has been made into building Thomas Pink into a leading luxury clothing brand,” Jonathan Heilbron, the company’s chief executive officer said.
This outcome could set the pace for stricter regulation of trademarks. Brands are taking advantage of both vertical and horizontal integration, so the selection and use of names in a global market largely dependent on internet and social media is increasingly difficult. Of course Victoria's Secret believes the clear distinction in customer base alleviates any confusion between the 2, but for now, they'll have to figure out some other mark for their varsity line. Any ideas?