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Trademark Case Study

Length minimum of three pages Topic/Case Study Response:You were approached by a friend in the fashion industry who has experience designing shoes, and based on an idea you and your friend had, you developed a computer-implemented modeling and design algorithm which scans any person s foot to create a computer generated model. Based upon that model, the design algorithm creates a unique and fashionable shoe that is customized to the user s foot. In fact, the shoes are so customized and fit so well that people who have worn the prototype shoes made for them are amazed and say that the shoes create a seal around their feet. In addition, the shoes are particularly fashionable, and are similar to, if not more appealing than the style and fit of many hand-made Italian shoes. As a result, you and your friend used your personal savings to begin to market your shoes under the name Seal Couture , and so far, things couldn t be going any better.You hired a marketing consultant, who pitched the idea to a group in California who focuses on trying to help small businesses succeed. The California group also has ties to the film and music industry, and liked your business model and idea so well they decided to have you design shoes for all of the artists who were nominated for Grammys. Before you knew it, you were being flown out to Los Angeles to create custom shoes for musicians including Kanye West and Taylor Swift, both of which said your shoes were the most comfortable and fashionable shoes they ever had worn and ordered several pairs. In fact, your shoes were so popular that you were getting requests from the Hollywood rich and famous, including George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Winslett, Johnny Depp, and Julia Roberts. Vanity Fair and GQ magazines have featured your spring line of shoes in their latest issues, publishing photographs of models wearing your shoes. With all of the success your idea has gained, you are about to launch your custom shoe line, Seal Couture . Your shoes are marketed as ultra-high end, custom footwear which are sold to the rich, and often famous, at prices beginning at $1,400 a pair, and will only be available at your high-end Seal Couture boutiques on Rodeo Drive and Manhattan. After you received your Computer Science degree, you went to law school, and with your knowledge of intellectual property law, you knew that you needed to secure protection for your mark, Seal Couture . As a result, you applied to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a federally registered trademark on your Seal Couture mark, used in connection with your goods identified as footwear, including shoes and boots . Today you received a letter from the United States Patent and Trademark Office refusing your registration for a trademark for Seal Couture based on a likelihood of confusion with an existing federally registered trademark for the mark Seal used in connection with clothing, namely, tee-shirts, shorts, swim suits, dresses, hats, and socks . The United States Patent and Trademark Office considered that the similarity of the marks, similarity of the goods, and similarity of trade channels of the goods were the most relevant factors supporting the likelihood of confusion determination. In particular, the United States Patent and Trademark Office stated that your mark is similar in appearance and sound to the existing Seal mark because both Seal and Seal Couture share the common term Seal . Furthermore, the United States Patent and Trademark Office stated that because your goods are identified as footwear, including shoes and boots and the existing Seal mark is applied to clothing, namely, tee-shirts, shorts, swim suits, dresses, hats, and socks , the goods are related. Specifically, the United States Patent and Trademark Office stated that the goods are related enough to cause consumers to be confused into thinking that your footwear, including shoes and boots marketed under the name Seal Couture , may actually be associated with the mark Seal , because clothing, namely, tee-shirts, shorts, swim suits, dresses, hats, and socks are often sold in the same stores as footwear, including shoes and boots , and under the same trademark. As a result, the United States Patent and Trademark Office concluded that because the two trademarks are similar and the goods are related, confusion as to source is likely, and thus refused registration for your trademark. Since your trademark for Seal Couture is being rejected as being too similar to the mark Seal for similar products, you did some research. It turns out that the owners of the Seal mark make and sell, and apply their Seal mark to beachwear-themed tee shirts, shorts, swim suits, dresses, hats, and socks which are light, pastel colored and include prints, patterns, and cartoons of ocean wildlife, including seals, whales, and dolphins. The ocean-themed tee-shirts, shorts, swim suits, dresses, hats, and socks which bear the Seal trademark are sold at a price range between $5 and $45, at stores such as Kohl s, JC Penney, Marshall s, and TJ Maxx. For this case study, write a response to the United States Patent and Trademark Office arguing why the your mark and goods are different enough from the existing Seal mark that no consumer confusion is likely. In preparing your argument, use the rules from the PerfumeBay v. eBay case.NOTE: It’s important to use the rules from PerfumeBay v. eBay case.

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