Call Today for a FREE Consultation

Unmatched Experience
Solving the Legal and Business Issues Faced by Our Clients

When is using a version of “pink” infringing on a trademark?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Trademark Law

Last year, it seemed like the color pink was everywhere with all of the marketing around the Barbie movie, which became the highest grossing film of the year, bringing in over $1 billion worldwide. Now, there are two high profile legal disputes surrounding versions of the word “pink,” and they have nothing to do with the iconic doll.

The singer Alecia Moore, whom everyone knows by her stage name P!nk, has filed a dispute against another singer, Pharrell Williams. Williams has tried to trademark “P.Inc.” for his company, PW IP Holdings.

Would Williams’ use of the color cause confusion for the other singer’s fans?

P!nk’s own company argues that the trademark Williams is seeking is too close to her name “in sight, sound, meaning and commercial impression.” Her stage name was trademarked over two decades ago, according to the claim. The claim goes on to argue that Williams’ proposed trademarked name would create “confusion, mistake and/or deception” in the public. 

The filing argues that the two artists’ “goods and services are identical and/or closely related,” and that Williams’ company “is likely to market and promote its goods through the same channels of trade and to the same consumers….”

Victoria’s Secret is also fighting the proposed trademark

Williams was already facing a claim from Victoria’s Secret, which features the color pink throughout its marketing and has a line of products under the name PINK. The lingerie retailer, while not in the same industry as Williams, is also making the argument that his trademarking of P.Inc. would cause confusion among consumers. 

The claim argues, “Opposer’s use of its ‘Victoria’s Secret PINK’ and ‘PINK’ marks predates applicant’s filing date.” Further, “Applicant’s mark is highly similar to, and is the phonetic equivalent of, opposer’s ‘PINK’ marks.”

Disputes like this go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to decide. This is not a do-it-yourself process. 

It’s critical to understand the law and to make the appropriate argument regarding the potential damage done by a trademark that’s too similar. That’s why whichever side of the dispute you’re on, it’s crucial to have an experienced intellectual property attorney on your side.