Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Chippendale's costume registration

The TTABlog notes that a hearing on the appeal of the denial of the registration of this design is coming up. Further from Likelihood of Confusion and the Las Vegas Trademark Attorney.

According to the application, "The mark consists of a three-dimensional human torso with cuffs around the wrists and neck collar comprising of a bow tie. The dotted lines in the drawing indicate placement of the mark. The matter shown by the dotted lines is not claimed as a part of the mark and serves only to show the position of the mark." PTO practice is not my specialty, but I'm not sure this actually makes sense: If the fact that the torso wearing the collar and bow tie is unclothed is not part of the mark, then any man in an outfit with cuffs and a bow tie is copying the Chippendale's mark. One might respond that lack of confusion will generally avoid infringement, but is that really how we want to think about it? I also note that the design codes include three referencing the underlying/underclothed man, which suggests that the torso is indeed part of the mark:
02.01.19 - Athletes (men); Golfer; Men, athletes, strongmen; Strongmen
02.01.31 - Men, stylized, including men depicted in caricature form
02.01.39 - Bathing suits, men wearing; Nude men, men wearing underclothes, bathing suits or brief attire; Underwear, men wearing

There's probably something here worth analyzing in terms of trademark and gender, but I'm not prepared to do it right now.

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