07/29/2013 10:52 am ET

Thomas Pink, Victoria's Secret Tussle Over 'Pink' In Legal Filings


Victoria's Secret PINK has been outfitting American tweens in puppy logos and emblazoning their backsides with sassy phrases since 2001. But it seems that Thomas Pink has just recently gotten wind of PINK's existence... and is now accusing Victoria's Secret of infringement.

British apparel company Thomas Pink sued Victoria's Secret UK back in May, accusing the brand of potentially causing customer confusion with its own "PINK" branding. Unsurprisingly, the legal action spooked Victoria's Secret in the US, prompting the company to file a declaratory judgment lawsuit in response last week.

Victoria's Secret's new case states that Thomas Pink's action in England gives it cause for concern over a possible lawsuit in the United States. The action, filed in district court in Ohio, seeks a "declaration" from the courts that Victoria's Secret PINK does not infringe on Thomas Pink in any way. The filing explicitly states that Victoria's Secret wants to head off any American lawsuit at the pass so that the two brands can "continue the peaceful coexistence that has been in place for many years."

As Law360 notes, both Thomas Pink and Victoria's Secret have been aware of their shared use of "pink" since 2005 and have communicated about each party's rights to the term. Victoria's Secret's legal filing also points out Thomas Pink doesn't sell anything similar to Victoria's Secret (they offer some womenswear but no underwear or bras), and there has been no evidence of consumer confusion thus far.

Sounds like a solid argument to us... then again, we've never accidentally walked into a Thomas Pink store looking for 5 for $26 undies or a Victoria's Secret store looking for tailored dress shirts.


Can't everyone just play nicely?

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