Remember we told you all about the Victoria’s Secret trademark lawsuit against the Pink Store earlier this year? Well the saga continues with the lingerie brand continuing to make ridiculous suggestions for settlement.
As a quick reminder, Victoria’s Secret asked a federal agency in the US to cancel the trademark of online retailer, thepinkstore.com in February 2014. The company claim that the trademark ‘The Pink Store’ could confuse consumers into thinking it is connected to Victoria Secret! Victoria’s Secret has used the trademark Victoria’s Secret Pink since 2001. The branding includes an online community, hosted on the lingerie firm’s website, called “Pink Nation”. The line is aimed primarily at university age customers and is now one of the brand’s most popular ranges. Sales of products bearing the Pink brand reportedly exceed $1.5 billion annually.
Trademarking a colour is not unheard of but is notoriously difficult to obtain. And rightly so. Tiffany Blue and Veuve Clicquot Orange both spring to mind but those are specific shades of colours – not the whole colour and certainly not the word itself. Even Cadburys was refused a colour trademark for its famous purple colour that I’m sure many people associate with the chocolate brand (though it would have left the big purple one from the Quality Street in a dubious position.) There isn’t an infinite amount of colours – if people were allowed trademark them willy-nilly, the rest of us would live in a very dreary black and white world. It’s the same principal as trademarking a musical chord (yes, we’re looking at you Metallica), it wouldn’t be long before there were no chords left and the making of music halted in its tracks. Nonetheless Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie and loungewear retailer favoured by teenage girls the world over, is doing its best to own the colour pink!
The Pink Store’s owner, Rebekah Doolittle, obtained a trademark registration in May 2013 for the name The Pink Store from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She had founded the online boutique in 2011 which sells a variety of pink coloured products including handbags, children’s toys and cuff links.
Victoria’s Secret has now reportedly come came back with their “suggestions” for settlement. One is that the Pink Store can keep its online store the way it is but if they open a brick & mortar store, Victoria’s Secret have the right to object. And they don’t want the Pink Store to ever trademark anything with the word pink in it from here on out. Does this sound reasonable??
Wigs And Gowns are surprised the lingerie brand are continuing with these futile attempts to own the colour pink. The company got a taste of its own medicine when it lost its ‘Pink’ trademark here in England . Back in July, LVMH owned shirt maker, Thomas Pink, accused it of confusing consumers by selling products under the ‘PINK’ name. In his judgement, Judge Colin Birss stated that Victoria’s Secret had infringed the trademark rights owned by Thomas Pink Ltd. He said that customers of the shirt company could be confused into thinking the Victoria’s Secret ‘PINK’ brand was connected to it and that this would cause a “detriment to the repute” of its brand.
Doolittle’s store does not sell underwear or loungewear and the only similarity between the two is the use of the word pink. It’s difficult to see how they could win - a quick look at Doolittle’s online store has us convinced that she isn’t trying to benefit from an association with Victoria’s Secret – she just sells pink things! (A sentiment Wigs And Gowns very much relates to!) Give it up VS!