Kanye West’s first fashion label, Yeezy, has been the subject of a number of intellectual property disputes since its inception, despite it being massively successful and lucrative for the American rapper.
The most recent dispute involves a fragrance company called, Y.Z.Y, Inc (YZY). In June 2018, YZY filed a trade mark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a stylised version of the mark YZY against fragrances and hair care preparations. The mark was rejected on the basis that it was too similar to a mark filed by Kanye West’s company, Mascotte Holdings, Inc, a year earlier. The mark in question was for the sign YZY as applied to footwear.
The USPTO examiner preliminary refused YZY’s later filed application on the basis of a likelihood of confusion arising with West’s earlier filed mark. The examiner argued that despite the fact the marks are to be used on different goods, the “literal elements of the marks are identical in appearance, sound and meaning”.
YZY has since taken its fight to the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board where it is currently attempting to cancel West’s earlier filed YZY registration on the basis that’s its use of the YZY mark predates that of West’s use.
Last month, West announced a new partnership with Gap clothing, entitled Yeezy Gap. The new project will combine the longstanding Gap blue square logo with the YZY logo. The new logo will be used on a wider range of goods, namely clothing. This intended future use will no doubt add fuel to the fire for YZY in its quest to invalidate West’s registration.
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