What started as a fatherly trip to the mall with my daughter and one of her friends will end with a couple of blog posts, at least.
I don’t spend a lot of time in malls, so when I do, I’m typically on brand alert.
You could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve entered Bath & Body Works — I normally wait outside.
This past weekend I entered and actually bought a few men’s items (I didn’t know they had any) — buy two get one free, just my speed.
Anyway, before finding the men’s items, I was slightly bored and looking for some mild enjoyment, so I snapped this photo, forwarded it to my wife, asking what I intended as a rhetorical question (I’m the one at the mall, afterall): Want Some?
I didn’t get a response in time to act, so all I brought home were the C.O. Bigelow products, for me and the boys to try.
Turns out, Stress Relief is a federally-registered trademark, owned by Gail Seymour Productions, Inc., based in Del Ray Beach, Florida.
So, I’m left wondering whether Bath & Body Works has a license, or whether they missed this one during due diligence, or perhaps they noted it is a Supplemental Registration, not a Principal Registration, leaving it unclear whether Seymour has been able to acquire distinctiveness since registration in 2008. Oh, the difficulty of navigating Supplemental trademark registrations.
And, now that brands commonly appear in all lower case style, does that impact what might otherwise be a strong fair use defense for Bath & Body Works?
Hopefully this post won’t cause Bath & Body Works the need to self-medicate.