Fashion label Ralph Lauren has been using ‘RLX’ for a luxury clothing line, but was sued by Rolex, who thinks ‘RLX’ might be associated with its brand.
The Appeal Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office sided with Ralph Lauren on this one: despite the fame of the ROLEX brand and the overlap of the goods and trade channels, the marks RLX RALPH LAUREN and RALPH LAUREN RLX are not likely to cause confusion with the ROLEX mark.
Even the market survey that Rolex had conducted did not help. According to the survey 61% of consumers perceived Rolex as the source of RLX watches. The Board stated that RLX, when joined with the well-known name RALPH LAUREN, suggests an expansion of the RALPH LAUREN product line (e.g. Ralph Lauren X: RLX), not an association with Rolex.
So Ralph Lauren is free to use RLX. We believe this is a good outcome of the matter. But time will tell.