Following a legal battle with a bracelet company earlier this year, Virgil Abloh’s brand Off-White is attempting to file a trademark for the phrase “Product Bag” with quotation marks around it; however, doing so seems to be a more difficult task than it appears. The attempt has been preliminarily declined.
According to The Fashion Law, an examining lawyer for the United States Patent and Trademark Office named Drew Ciurpita explained the decision saying, “whether a designation functions as a [trademark] depends on the commercial impression it makes on the relevant public; that is, whether purchasers would be likely to regard it as a source-indicator for the goods.” He continues, “consumers will perceive the mark as merely providing information about the packaging, which is a clear plastic bag.”
Tristan Fewings / Getty Images
Essentially, what Ciurpita is saying, is that consumers will interpret Abloh’s “Product Bag” is be a description of the item and not a distinguishing title.
Ciurpita also recommended a solution. Off-White would have to remove the words that describe what an item is from the item itself. This would mean no bags that say “bag” on them or ashtrays that say “ashtray” on them. We’ll have to wait and see how Off-White proceeds from here.