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Victoria's Secret and Thomas Pink square up over trademarks

Victoria’s Secret is seeking reassurance from US courts that it can continue to use the word Pink in its branding, after shirtmaker Thomas Pink moved to sue the lingerie giant in a British court.

The UK action, brought in May, claims that Victoria’s Secret is infringing Thomas Pink’s rights by using the word. This case is thought to be ongoing.

Last week Victoria’s Secret filed a complaint for declaratory judgment, asking for US courts to “clarify the rights of the parties, allowing them to continue the peaceful coexistence that has been in place for many years”.

The document, which was filed on July 24, also notes that “the UK action places VS at imminent risk of a suit on the same grounds in the US”.

Thomas Pink was set up in the mid-1980s, while Victoria’s Secret has used the trademark Victoria’s Secret Pink since 2001. The branding includes an online community, hosted on the lingerie firm’s website, called “Pink Nation”.

A spokesperson from Thomas Pink said: “Thomas Pink is determined to protect the considerable investment that has been made into building the world’s leading luxury shirt brand.”

Lee Curtis, partner at trade mark attorney firm Harrison Goddard Foote, added: “Victoria’s Secret seems sufficiently concerned by the UK trade mark infringement proceedings to apply for a declaratory judgement of non-infringement in the US, so at least in the US action they will have the initiative.

“It will be interesting to see how this battle of the Pinks will pan out.”

Victoria’s Secret had not responded as Drapers went to press.

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