This Is Trademark: Kate Spade Had To Go To Court To Use The Term 'Saturday' In A Clothing Line
from the so-week dept
If you want to highlight the silly behavior of some folks when it comes to protecting their all-important trademarks, marks on generic terms typically does the job nicely. Whether it's board game makers going after folks for using a common phrase or banks threatening reporters over virtual wallets, the idea of locking up some commonly used words for the purpose of commerce is usually enough to make most folks pinch their noses.
But, because one silly turn deserves another, we've now reached the point where companies are fighting over days of the week, such as the case of Kate Spade winning out over Saturday Surf LLC for the ability to use the name of everyone's favorite day in a clothing line.
After recently filing a lawsuit declaring that its new, SATURDAY brand, did not infringe on the name of any of the popular men’s clothing company, SATURDAY SURF LLC, the district court officially ruled in the women’s retail apparel company’s favor.Everyone stand up and take a bow: there are people in court fighting over the word Saturday. That it's a day of the week apparently wasn't enough to make it ineligible for a trademark, of course, but the court ruled instead that the use of Saturday in clothing lines was so widespread that Surf shouldn't be allowed to lock it up against another company's use. That's a good ruling, of course, and the court went on to state that Surf didn't come anywhere near proving they relied on the Saturday mark.
Shortly after filing the suit, Surf LLC filed a counterclaim alleging trademark infringement and reverse confusion against Kate Spade’s use of the word Saturday in its new brand. Surf’s biggest concern was that the use of the term Saturday would confuse consumers by leading them to believe that Surf’s products were licensed by or affiliated with Kate Spade, or that Surf was the one infringing on Kate Spade’s SATURDAY mark.
The court also held that Surf did not present sufficient evidence showing use of SATURDAYS as a trademark. According to the ruling, the court found that Kate Space had adopted the SATURDAY mark in good faith, citing Kate Spade’s lack of knowledge about Surf and its consultation with counsel before and after learning of Surf and its SATURDAY-formative marks.Nice, but all I'm left with is that fact that this required legal action.