Off-White™'s "FOR WALKING" Trademark Disputed Because "WALKING Is an Activity Done on Foot"
The USPTO disputes another Off-White™ trademark request, says it “merely describes a feature and purpose of [Off-White™’s] goods.”
Virgil Abloh‘s Off-White™ has had a rocky time in getting its trademark requests approved, having previously filed for “PRODUCT BAG” and the red zip tie as signifiers of the brand. Now, the streetwear label has applied for a new trademark, “FOR WALKING.”
As The Fashion Law reports, the “FOR WALKING” trademark (including the quotations), acts as a recognizable source of branding for Off-White™. It would aim to use this on footwear — something that’s seen on its most recent “Out of Office” sneaker — but in order to make it exclusive to the brand, it has to be passed through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
However, the latest filing seems to be a repeat of the history for Off-White™. The January 6 Office Action has resulted in a preliminary refusal of the brand’s trademark request on the basis that the “FOR WALKING” statement “merely describes a feature and purpose of [Off-White™’s] goods,” as said by examining attorney Shaunia Carlyle (as per The Fashion Law‘s article).
Carlyle continued, “If it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of an applicant’s goods and/or services.” She added, “WALKING is an activity done on foot… the wording [of the “FOR WALKING” mark] describes a purpose of the goods — to be used FOR WALKING.”
Similarly, its latest re-filing for a trademark against the sole use of the red zip tie has also been disputed. On January 6, Off-White™ supplied a new drawing showing the placement of said zip tie, but it did not change the mind of USPTO examiner Verna B. Ririe. As The Fashion Law reports, Ririe said, “based on the amended drawing, registration is [still] refused… because the applied-for mark as used on the specimen of record is merely a decorative or ornamental feature of the goods and, thus, does not function as a trademark to indicate the source of applicant’s goods and to identify and distinguish them from others.”
Off-White™ has sixth months to dispute the claims. It is encouraged to submit arguments or evidence that will allow the USPTO to revise its actions.
In other news, Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman have settled their lawsuit.