Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Celebrities put their mark on merchandise

In the trademark area, IPKitten had a post about the rock group Queen:

The IPKat has come across a victory for the rock group Queen before the Trade Marks Registry. Julia Ruhnke made a Madrid Protocol application to register the term QUEEN FOR A DAY for clothing. The surviving members of the rock group Queen opposed the application based, inter alia, on their registration of the word QUEEN for the same goods. Since the goods were identical, the issue came down to whether there was a likelihood of confusion taking the similarity between the marks into account.


Queen is undoubtedly a well-known band, and bands undoubtedly often produce merchandise, such as t-shirts, but they are (according to the Registry) not viewed as the source of that merchandise by consumers.

On Feb. 25, 2007, CBS Sunday Morning ran a story, Celebrities Cash In On Their Names, which included the text:

Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst for the NPD Group, which tracks retail sales, says consumers will pay up to 25 percent more for celebrity branded products, and fashion is where you'll often find them.


Sean "P Diddy" Combs' scent, "Unforgivable," was the fastest-growing fragrance of 2006. But that’s only part of his success. Combs’ Sean Jean clothing line raked in more than $400 million in retail sales last year. He's the poster boy for the latest star-powered trend, the celebrity business.

Actress and singer Beyoncé Knowles is just getting her start. The star of the Oscar-nominated film "Dreamgirls" has gone into business with her mother, Tina Knowles, to form the House of Dereon.


The week before CBS Sunday Morning ran The Man Who Owns Elvis, concerning Bob Sillerman, who bought Elvis's name and likeness, for $114 million. That's what his company, CKX, paid for Elvis Presley enterprises two years ago.


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