Trademark

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
madonna, material girl, trademark



Madonna Sued For For Selling Clothes Under 'Material Girl' Brand

from the we-are-living-in-a-trademarked-world... dept

Ah, trademarks. Someone who prefers to remain anonymous sent over the news that Madonna has been sued by a clothing designer for Madonna's new line of "Material Girl" clothing. Madonna, of course, had a hit song called "Material Girl" and has been referred to as the "Material Girl" for years. However, another company, LA Triumph, actually got the trademark on Material Girl when it comes to clothing, and it's been using it since 1997.

If you head over to the USPTO, you'll find that there have been 15 applications for trademarks on "Material Girl" or "Material Girls" (well, and one with "Material Girlz"). Most of the trademark applications are dead, but five live on. They cover a variety of different things, and since most are held by holding companies, it's a bit tricky to figure out who actually has the rights to what. However, it does seem clear that different companies have applied for, and received, trademarks on "Material Girl(s)" for clothing, cosmetics, personal care products and even a television show. This is a reminder, of course, that when you apply for a trademark, it's only supposed to cover the specific area in which you're doing business -- which can cause problems in cases, like this one, where people expand into other fields of business.

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  • icon
    Overcast (profile), 23 Aug 2010 @ 4:17pm

    So much for the "starving artist" spin on new media...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bubba Gump (profile), 23 Aug 2010 @ 4:37pm

    apparently

    Madonna is "like a virgin" to the fashion industry.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Big Al, 23 Aug 2010 @ 4:39pm

    This seems to be perfectly straight-forward. The company has been actively using the trademark for over ten years, so they should walk away with a judgment quite easily.
    Just because she had a song of the same name (which may or may not have been written by someone else anyway) doesn't entitle her to the phrase in all walks of life, no matter how entitled she feels.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 23 Aug 2010 @ 4:51pm

    It would seem straight-forward...

    unless Madonna wants to use her celebrity clout to cut the value of the trademark to LA Triumph, in which case *they're* the ones with the problem. It's a unique leverage, and could be done perfectly legally. I'd say an agreement to ignore the other is a likely outcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Blatant Coward (profile), 23 Aug 2010 @ 5:10pm

    Meanwhile all the Eddie Munster fans stare at their Lady Gaga posters and sharpen their pitchforks growling softly to themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Aug 2010 @ 7:00am

    Poor little rich girl. Wait! Is that a girl or a muscle.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nina Paley (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 7:44am

    trademark search

    I can't believe no one at Madonna's company bothered to do a free trademark search online before launching the brand. That's nuts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Pete Braven (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 8:19am

    "we-are-living-in-a-trademarked-world"

    I just wonder why an artist's management didn't pick up on the use of the song title when it's been collecting revenue in advertising for years? (Including one of the trademark owners)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), 24 Aug 2010 @ 2:56pm

    She should have chosen a more appropriate name for her clothing line

    Something on the order of "Stank Ho" or maybe just "Bleach Blond Skank" would be readily identified with her. Dontcha think?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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