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Originally posted 2014-12-09 11:00:03.
By Gloria Han | amdlawgroup.com
The fashion brand, Bottega Veneta, well-known for its hand bangs and fragrances, had filed its unique “knot” design for trademark registration. Initially, the design was rejected by the USPTO because the knot was a non-distinctive product design and needed a secondary meaning. Bottega Veneta attempted to prove that its knot was distinctive through submitting its sales record, media coverage, high remarks from other fashion industry experts, and a comparison with other famous luxury brand marks. The material presented was still not sufficient enough to meet the requirements, but the USPTO registered the application on the Supplemental Register.
The “knot” is not fully registered yet, but under the Supplemental Register, the owner still acquires permission to use the trademark symbol and stop others from filing similar applications. Botegga Veneta has yet to prove that its “knot” has acquired distinctiveness. Once the company has shown acquired distinctiveness, it may file its “knot” design under the Principal Registration.
Bottega Veneta has been rejected more than once by the USPTO. In 2013, the company filed its weave pattern, which are displayed on its handbags. The USPTO did not allow registration of the pattern because it saw the weave was merely functional and decorative. Similar to the events from the “knot” trademark registration, Bottega Veneta argued that the pattern acquired distinctiveness through revenue sales, statements of fashion experts, etc. Consequently, the office finally granted the registration of its weave pattern. Bottega Veneta’s success in registering the weave pattern and potential success in registering the “knot” gives hope for all fashion companies and designers. Trademarking one’s design leads to one step closer to fighting off counterfeits and knockoff products.