Victoria’s Secret pleas again over “Pink” trademarks



Women’s clothing company Victoria’s Secret has again asked a US court to clear it of infringing trademarks owned by Thomas Pink, a UK shirt maker.

Victoria’s Secret first asked for a declaration of non-infringement in July last year, after it was sued by Thomas Pink over the “Victoria’s Secret Pink” and other “Pink” trademarks in the UK.

The US company withdrew that application but filed a new document at the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on January 14. It is unclear why the first application was withdrawn.

Since filing suit in the UK, the application claims, Thomas Pink has expanded its cross-border “aggressions” against Victoria’s Secret into a “global pink war”, opposing (and threatening to oppose) trademark applications in countries such as Hong Kong and Brazil.

These opposition proceedings, tied to the UK court action, open Victoria’s Secret to an “imminent risk” of being sued on the same grounds in the US, the application states.

Victoria’s Secret says it wants a declaration to allow the companies to co-exist, which they have done peacefully for many years.

The women’s clothing company launched two stores in London last year, one of which stocks the “Pink” range. It features a selection of female loungewear, accessories and underwear.

In May 2013, Thomas Pink sued Victoria’s Secret, seeking an injunction in the UK and EU. A trial at the England & Wales High Court has been set for June 23, 2014, according to the declaratory application filed in Ohio.

Lee Curtis, partner at law firm Harrison Goddard Foote LLP, but unaffiliated with the parties, said that in its latest filing Victoria’s Secret seems once again to be attempting to secure its position in its home and “presumably most important US market”.

“It will once again be interesting to see how the alleged ‘pink war’ pans out and it is quite possible that different courts in different countries will come to different judgements based on the particular circumstances in those states,” he said.

The companies have co-existed since 2005.

Thomas Pink did not respond to a request for comment.

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