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Roger

Same name usage in logo

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Good Day, 

I'm currently in the process of building a clothing brand. The brand will have the name polo in its title although it will not be the whole name of the brand. I recently read about the case between Ralph Lauren Polo Company and The U.S. Polo Association regarding the use of the word polo and similar image on a particular product to be sold by the U.S. Polo Association. My inquisition is regarding the use of the word polo in my newly formed clothing brand. I will be targeting a different customer base from the previously formed companies. 

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Those two entities have been at each other since 1984 according to the case decision that summarizes the history:

 

https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2013cv07147/418541/44/

 

There are several other cases that involve the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation.

 

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=806&q=polo+ralph+lauren+corp&oq=polo

 

You don't put your foot in a bear trap to see if the bear trap works. You already know that the use of "polo" in a clothing brand generates lawsuits. Do you think that PRL Corp won't hesitate to flatten you the minute your product hits the market?

 

Figure out another way of naming your brand rather than a risky infringement.

 

 

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So even if my brand has nothing to do with their target audience, I should be afraid to come out with a name that they didn't create, only attempting to monopolized for a single word? So the word polo on clothes is just like Apple for computers? I'm creating  brand with the word polo in it, not the name Ralph Lauren nor the word polo by itself.

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5 hours ago, Roger said:

So even if my brand has nothing to do with their target audience, I should be afraid to come out with a name that they didn't create, only attempting to monopolized for a single word? So the word polo on clothes is just like Apple for computers? I'm creating  brand with the word polo in it, not the name Ralph Lauren nor the word polo by itself.

 

PRL Holdings has registered the stand alone mark "Polo" along with "Ralph Lauren Polo" in a number of areas that relate to fashion, not just clothes, but all kinds of accessories, watches, software related to fashion, and more. While there are firms that have registered the name "Polo" alone or with other words in very different industries totally unrelated to fashion, you are very likely to trigger a very expensive trademark fight with the company if you use that word connected to anything having to do with fashion, and particularly with selling clothes, and you may well lose that fight. I think there is a very good chance the company could show the public would be confused and think your product was related to theirs. Before you start selling your stuff with that name, I strongly suggest you consult a trademark lawyer first. You could find yourself liable for huge damages if you are found to be infringing on their mark.

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On 3/31/2019 at 3:37 AM, Tax_Counsel said:

 

PRL Holdings has registered the stand alone mark "Polo" along with "Ralph Lauren Polo" in a number of areas that relate to fashion, not just clothes, but all kinds of accessories, watches, software related to fashion, and more. While there are firms that have registered the name "Polo" alone or with other words in very different industries totally unrelated to fashion, you are very likely to trigger a very expensive trademark fight with the company if you use that word connected to anything having to do with fashion, and particularly with selling clothes, and you may well lose that fight. I think there is a very good chance the company could show the public would be confused and think your product was related to theirs. Before you start selling your stuff with that name, I strongly suggest you consult a trademark lawyer first. You could find yourself liable for huge damages if you are found to be infringing on their mark.

That's What I needed right there, thank you. I actually plan on building my current brand and creating ideas to pitch cross-collaborations to larger companies such as PRL that I am certain have reaped the benefits from the african-american community as a strong consumer and promotional base for the PRL brand. 

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On 4/6/2019 at 12:49 AM, Roger said:

That's What I needed right there, thank you. I actually plan on building my current brand and creating ideas to pitch cross-collaborations to larger companies such as PRL that I am certain have reaped the benefits from the african-american community as a strong consumer and promotional base for the PRL brand. 

 

If you contact PRL with Polo as part of your name you can bet your bottom dollar that you will be sued.

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On 3/31/2019 at 3:37 AM, Tax_Counsel said:

 

PRL Holdings has registered the stand alone mark "Polo" along with "Ralph Lauren Polo" in a number of areas that relate to fashion, not just clothes, but all kinds of accessories, watches, software related to fashion, and more. While there are firms that have registered the name "Polo" alone or with other words in very different industries totally unrelated to fashion, you are very likely to trigger a very expensive trademark fight with the company if you use that word connected to anything having to do with fashion, and particularly with selling clothes, and you may well lose that fight. I think there is a very good chance the company could show the public would be confused and think your product was related to theirs. Before you start selling your stuff with that name, I strongly suggest you consult a trademark lawyer first. You could find yourself liable for huge damages if you are found to be infringing on their mark.

That's What I needed right there, thank you. I actually plan on building my current brand and creating ideas to pitch cross-collaborations to larger companies such as PRL that I am certain have reaped the benefits from the african-american community as a strong consumer and promotional base for the PRL brand. 

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OK, so why does U.S.Polo Association and Beverly Hills Polo Association have the ability to use a  similar logo and the word polo in the sale of their merchandise in the exact same market as PRL?

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7 minutes ago, Roger said:

OK, so why does U.S.Polo Association and Beverly Hills Polo Association have the ability to use a  similar logo and the word polo in the sale of their merchandise in the exact same market as PRL?

Maybe they have an agreement with PRL or maybe here is little or no possibility of confusion between their logo and the PRL logo.  What is the point of trying to make your argument here?  We have warned you that you may back into chainsaw if you produce clothing with a logo resembling the Ralph Lauren logo or use the word "polo"  on clothing not related to an actual polo club.  If you think we are wrong, go ahead.

 

BTW, I would be interested in your claim that the african-american community is a major player in the Ralph Lauren Polo demographic.

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4 hours ago, Roger said:

OK, so why does U.S.Polo Association and Beverly Hills Polo Association have the ability to use a  similar logo and the word polo in the sale of their merchandise in the exact same market as PRL?

 

Actually, the U.S. Polo Association lost several cases of trademark infringement brought by PRL. The result of that litigation was that the Association either had to license its marks from PRL or change them as directed by the Court. The Court, in the sale of clothing, stated that the the Association could use its full name on its merchandise, i.e. U.S. Polo Association or USPA, without emphasizing the term POLO. The Association logo had to be redesigned to be more distinct from the PRL logo, too. So if you look at the merchandise sold today, you see it with either the full name of the association or USPA. It does not use the name POLO alone nor does it make the word POLO stand out from the rest of the words in its name. The USPA had the benefit of being associated with the sport of polo and a recognized name in the sport that allows the public to readily distinguish it from PRL. That may have been a factor in the court allowing the USPA to use the word polo at all with clothing merchandise.

 

Before you try using the word POLO in your marketing, I would strongly recommend you consult a trademark attorney. PRL has shown it is willing to litigate to protect its trademark, even against organizations with some significant resources. Should you market clothing with the word polo in it, you may well find yourself in PRL's sights. The litigation, even if you could win, would be very expensive. And, just like the USPA, you might well lose the case with the result that you would owe damages for infringement and have an injunction against you prohibiting further use of the mark. That would force you to adopt a different mark.

 

Why not develop a completely different mark that does not use the word polo? That would be a stronger mark for you and would eliminate the problem of potential trademark infringement claims by PRL. The only reason I can see you wanting to use the word polo is to trade off the reputation PRL has built, and that's the very thing that gets you into trademark infringement problems. If your clothing is good, it will sell without having to piggyback off the Polo name.

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