September 08, 2014

Trademark™ the Brand

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC

Since it's NYC Fashion Week, it only seems appropriate that we combine two of my favorite topics: fashion and trademarks. I recently learned that there's a new clothing brand for twenty-and-thirty-somethings like myself called TRADEMARK. As you can probably imagine, upon seeing this intersection of trademarks and fashion, I had to check it out.

Trademark Trademark

Alexandra and Louis Burch, former step-daughters of the famous Tory Burch, launched what they're calling the "new American sportswear company" under the trademark TRADEMARK. The company sells high-end minimalist separates for both men and women, and is described as "the blocks on which to build a wardrobe." Alexandra, better known as "Pookie," described the line as "really classic, nostalgic, identifiable items that you can relate to, but done in a fresh, new take on color." The girls also have a new brick-and-mortar store located on Grand Street in NYC. Here's a shot of the inside of the store, which you can see follows the "minimalist" theme:

Trademark Store

Though this brick-and-mortar store may be new, TRADEMARK isn't. In fact, it's been in the works for over three years. On January 9, 2012, the sisters filed an intent-to-use application for TRADEMARK for use in connection with "Retail store services featuring clothing, jewelry, leather goods and bags, and eyewear; online retail store services featuring clothing, jewelry, leather goods and bags, and eyewear," and filed a second intent-to-use application for TRADEMARK for use on or in connection with "Clothing, namely shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets, coats, hats, shoes, flip-flops, boots, sandals, sneakers, skirts, dresses, blouses, belts, scarves, and bathing suits." Now that the launch has officially happened, we can anticipate the statements of use to be filed soon.

Like the Burch sisters, if you have not yet used your mark, but intend to use it in the future, an intent-to-use application is a great tool. It allows applicants who have a good faith intent to use their marks in commerce to file an application with the USPTO, and gives those applicants a constructive first use date that is the date of filing. A bona fide intent to use a mark is more than simply having an idea; typically having a business plan, creating sample products, or performing other initial business activities reflect a bona fide intent to use the mark. Intent-to-use applications allow those applicants who are serious about using their mark in commerce down the line to stake a claim to the mark and establish early rights in the mark.

In case you're interested in what's happening at Fashion Week, here's a glimpse:

The lawyers at Trademarkology provide trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Click here to begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.