Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Legally Speaking

Ah, copyright infringement. As prevalent today as bad manners on the subway, copycats are around every fashion corner trying to pounce on another's well-selling idea in the hope their insidious imitation will fool the less skeptical.

But amidst all the insufferable impostors are some legitimate users trying to apply a perfectly reasonable mark to their good. Case in point: the US Polo Association. In America, Ralph Lauren sportswear reigns supreme and sports sometimes take a back seat to fashion. In this case, the Polo Association was prevented from using the polo player logo on their new fragrance line by the 2nd Circuit because it was too similar to the iconic Ralph Lauren trademark. Though the USPA had been granted the right to use the logo on apparel in 1984, the USPA cannot use the same mark on frangrance (a different category of goods) becuase the images are too similar and likely to cause confusion (one of many tests used by courts when considering these cases). Too bad for the polo players, but score one for Ralph.

image is the trademarked logo owned by Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation

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