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On 8th August 2019, Pinkette Clothing Inc. filed a trademark infringement suit against Alo LLC before the US District Court for the Central District of California. The Plaintiff complained about the unauthorized use of its ‘Lush’ mark by the defendants. Pinkette also put allegation of unfair business practices, unfair competition against Alo in the suit. It is complained by the plaintiff that the use of the ‘Lush’ mark caused confusion among consumers.
Trademarks can take many forms but are indicators to consumers that a certain product originates from a specific source. Brand names and slogans are typical trademarks. Trademark rights are established in the U.S. by using the mark. Words used as designations of a particular style are not valid trademarks if they do not serve the function of identifying and distinguishing the goods of one seller from those of others. Trademark laws do not protect the usages that do not have a source-identifying function.
Pinkette Clothing Inc. is a company which sells clothing for young women is based in California. It does business under different labels. Lush is one of those brands. Pinkette alleged that Alo used the word ‘Lush’ in its garments without any permission. From September 2003, Pinkette is selling garments under the mark ‘Lush’ in the United States and Canada. In 2010 ‘Lush’ was registered as a trademark for Pinkette. It was registered only for clothing purpose. Alo is a company from Los Angeles who manufactures clothing for Yoga.
Pinkette showed three pieces of evidence of Alo’s yoga garments. They are “Lush Bra,” “Alo Soft Lush Bra,” “High Waist Lush Short” respectively. In response, Alo said that they are not using ‘Lush’ in their product as a trademark. Alo also pointed that “Luxe,” “Lotus,” “Lounge,” “Mode,” and “Off-Duty” – names are also used on its bras, tops, shorts, and leggings. According to Alo’s version, the names are used as style and not as a brand.
On the ground of trademark infringement, Pinkette prayed for a preliminary and permanent injunction to restrain the ‘Lush’ related activities of Alo. Further, it also claimed monetary damages and sought for an instruction to destroy all the ‘Lush’ related products.