Sexy lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret has lost a trademark dispute over the name ‘Pink’. A UK court ruled that the lingerie brand’s “Pink” clothing line could confuse customers with its “sexy, mass-market appeal.” Victoria’s Secret launched its line of clothing in 2004, aimed at “college girls”.
UK traditional shirtmaker Thomas Pink Ltd. with a flagship store in London sued the American lingerie company, stating their product name ‘Pink’ is too similar to his business name. Associating his company with lingerie might be detriment to the repute of his brand. Now a judge has ruled in his favour: “We are delighted with the outcome of this case, and will continue to protect the considerable investment that has been made into building Thomas Pink into a leading luxury clothing brand,” Jonathan Heilbron, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Victoria’s Secret responded in court, claiming its brand was famous, and that its customers were young women, not the older professionals who might buy shirts and ties from Thomas Pink. Consequently, there would be no likelihood of confusion.
Although the trademark in question are very similar indeed, it is debatable whether the buyers of g-strings are the same as that of men’s ties.