Back in 1984 Thomas Pink started using PINK to sell men’s clothing. They have since branched out to women’s apparel.
In 2001, Victoria’s Secret started using PINK for their line aimed at younger women and girls.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, no doubt you’re thinking:
- They’re using the same exact word, in kinda similar fonts.
- They’re both selling apparel, in branded stand-alone stores. (The pictures were both taken in Manhattan.)
- They’ve both achieved a level of fame with their brands.
You’re also thinking:
- Thomas Pink is targeted at professional men (and women) and Victoria’s Secret Pink is targeted at teenage girls. The Thomas Pink store in Manhattan is on Wall Street and the VS Pink store is in SoHo.
- The fonts are similar, because they’re blocky and have serifs, but they have a different feel. VS’s Pink is a college-banner sorta font and Thomas Pink is more an engraver’s font.
- If a middle-aged banker walked into the VS Pink store, he wouldn’t be confused for long. Ditto with a teenaged girl in a Thomas Pink store.
Should these two apparel brands both be allowed to use PINK?
Mr. Justice Birss of the High Court of Justice in London ruled in 2014 that VS’s use of PINK would result in Thomas Pink’s trademark being “associated with a mass market offering, reducing its luxurious reputation.”
But what do you think about Pink? It’s hard, isn’t it? And that’s what makes trademark law fun.