Originally posted 2014-08-07 11:00:58.
By Breanna Pendilton | amdlawgroup.com
As mentioned in a previous blog, British luxury shirt retailer Thomas Pink filed an infringement action about a year ago against Victoria’s Secret with a court in London, alleging that the Victoria’s Secret PINK line confuses customers by marketing and selling products under the label “PINK” which is also a name under the Thomas Pink brand. Well, the verdict (or should I say “the secret”) is out! Judge Colin Birss ruled against Victoria Secrets saying that customers in Europe might associate the traditional shirt maker with underwear. But is it not this difference (the distinction between shirts and underwear), which should warrant the opposite verdict?
Not only is Thomas Pink’s brand known for its shirts, but it is primarily known for its men’s dress shirts. Victoria’s Secret PINK line, on the other hand, is geared toward women and known for not only its clothing (made only for women, might I add) but also known for its bath and beauty products. Last time I checked, the distinction between men and women clothes and products were enough to distinct two brands.
Judge Birss commented that “consumers are likely to enter one of the claimant’s shops . . . and be disappointed when they find they have made a mistake.” I highly doubt it! The PINK line is a subsidiary of the Victoria’s Secret brand, and any frequent shopper knows that the only way to buy PINK is to walk into a store that also reads, “Victoria’s Secret” either underneath or nearby the word PINK. If not for the sign that also reads Victoria’s Secret, any shopper would notice the difference between Victoria’s Secret sexy and flirty marketing tactics from whatever marketing that Thomas Pink would use to draw in his customers (I hope)! Not to mention that the word “PINK” is always written in all capital letters, which in itself could be enough to catch the attention of customers.
Judge Birss’s verdict was just recently issued, and does not reign supreme in other countries that the PINK line is sold in. Nothing has been said about what Victoria’s Secret plans to do next, but obviously PINK is a color they can no longer wear in the UK.
AMD LAW’s Tip of the Day: Orange may be the new black, but PINK is definitely NOT!
To read AMD LAW’s previous blog about the lawsuit, see: https://www.amdlawgroup.com/pink-clashes-with-pink/