LA Court – Madonna’s Not The Only Material Girl

Madonna Material Girl Ad for Macys
Madonna Material Girl Ad for Macys

Image from fanpop.com

Women’s Wear Daily today reports on a matter that was covered on this blawg last August (Madonna’s Macy’s Material Met By Mark Lawsuit), namely an attempt by an LA company to put a stop to Madonna and Macy’s ‘Material Girl’ clothing line.  The Plaintiff, L.A. Triumph, Inc, argues that it has the prior rights to the “MATERIAL GIRL” mark, though it appears that these rights are unregistered and therefore limited to the extent of its reputation.

On August 31, 2011, District Judge S. James Otero refused to throw out the lawsuit, rejecting Madonna’s argument that she holds the earlier rights to the “MATERIAL GIRL” mark by virtue of her 1984 hit of the same name.   The case will now go to trial or, perhaps more likely, end in a settlement.

The Material Girl line appears to have been reasonably popular at Macy*s here in New York, whether due to or in spite of it being promoted by Kelly Osbourne.  Either way, we’ll keep an eye out for any changes in Herald Square.

FYI:

There are still no registrations for “MATERIAL GIRL” at the USPTO.  The following have been applied for by MG Icon LLC (a Madonna company), but there is no indication of L.A. Triumph having registered any marks, ever.

Serial no. 77886045, filed Dec 4, 2009, published July 20, 2010 (originally applied for by Material Girl Brand, LLC, but subsequently assigned)

Serial no. 85036126, filed May 12, 2010, published April 19, 2011

Serial no. 85116651, filed August 26 2010, published for opposition February 8, 2011 (applied for after the start of this law suit)

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2 Responses to “LA Court – Madonna’s Not The Only Material Girl”

  1. J. Glaser says:

    That’s not exactly true. The Federal Trade Commission keeps a data base of Registration Numbers (“RN”) for apparel manufacturers and L.A. Triumph has had Material Girl registered for over ten years. You can search here:

    https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/TextileRN/wrnquery$tts_rn.querylist

  2. Thanks for the comment, J, but I’m not sure what part you think is not true since the RN database is not a trademarks database; its purpose is to provide ID numbers which manufacturers can use in place of a name (or other company number) while still complying with labeling laws. It is not a substitute for or equivalent to a registered trademark, and doesn’t by itself give rise to any unregistered trademarks rights.

    If I’ve misunderstood your point, please let me know :)

    PS Your link doesn’t work, but there’s some additional info here: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/rn/rnfaq.shtm

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