The KarDASHian’s, Trademark Law and Fashion

This article was originally published in “What’s Happening, Myron! online magazine.

Fashion Law Trends by Pamela Williams Kelly, Esq.

Fashion and Entertainment Attorney

What’s in a name? In the world of fashion, a name is everything to discerning buyers. Designer labels are associated with quality and are considered representative of the buyer’s taste and status as well. One of the newest names to join the fashion world is “Dash,” which is named after its infamous owners, the Kardashian’s.

Dash is a creative play on the name “KarDASHian,” but the word “dash” is not unique. For example, “Mrs. Dash” is a national brand of seasoning that has been around since the 1980’s. Yet, Dash still filed for federal trademark protection for its brand. A trademark protects a name or mark used to distinguish a good or service in commerce and gives the owner of the trademark the exclusive right to use the mark in commerce. The purpose of the trademark law is to protect the consumer by clearly identifying and distinguishing the goods and services of one seller from another.

However, there is a caveat to this rule. The trademark registration only protects the owner from others using his or her mark in the same class of goods or services. So, while Dash and Mrs. Dash are definitely sharing a mutual name, the difference in the goods and services offered were the key to Dash’s successful trademark registration. Simply stated, Mrs. Dash is a good, specifically a spice. Dash is a trademark for goods, i.e., clothing and a service mark for a service, i.e., the retail store. Thus, the public will not likely be “confused, mistaken or deceived” as to the source of goods of either trademark owner.

Interestingly, Dash is a popular name in commerce with over 800 “dash” trademark registrations. So, there is plenty of money in a name if you protect it correctly before the money starts rolling in!

Legal Disclaimer: Fashion Law Trends is not intended to serve as legal or other advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.



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