Trademark News & Screw-ups Classixx Sue H&M for Trademark Infringement

It's an interesting one. H&M's defense is, at least in part, that "the use of a word as a decorative feature on an article of clothing is not trademark use." Typically, simply slapping a name or a logo on a tshirt is not sufficient to act as an acceptable specimen of use for the purposes of registering your own trademark in the U.S. USPTO routinely rejects such specimens claiming that the trademark is merely "ornamental" rather than referring to a source. However, the standard for what constitutes trademark infringement is different from the standard of what can be registered as a trademark. Clearly, telling artists whose trademark you used on the clothes you sell that they are "relatively unknown" was not the smartest thing to avoid confrontation.

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