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Victoria’s Secret Trademarks Play on Competitor’s Name

Lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret has always had a way of getting consumers’ attention. The company’s latest marketing moves, however, are also raising eyebrows in the intellectual property community.

Victoria’s Secret recently sought a pair of trademarks for the name “Victoria’s Secret First Love,” one for beauty products and the other for clothing. If approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the trademarks would give parent company L Brands the exclusive right to use the name in association with its products. Victoria’s Secret started using the name “First Love” at an annual fashion show last year, according to

The move also appears to be a not so subtle jab at competitor ThirdLove, a relatively new competitor funded in part by a former Victoria’s Secret corporate official. The Silicon Valley based company uses apps to help customers measure their bra size without having to go to a physical store. It also offers half cup sizes for what ThirdLove calls a more customized fit.

War of Words

The competitors have been sniping at each other through the press. ThirdLove Chief Executive Officer Hedi Zak last year penned an open letter in the New York Times chiding L Brands boss Ed Razek for telling Vogue that his company will not cast transgender or plus-size models in its annual televised fashion show.

Razek, incidentally had used the interview to also take a shot at the upstart competitor:

“We’re nobody’s third love, he said. “We’re their first love. And Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning.”

Here’s how Zak responded in the Times letter:

“ThirdLove is the antithesis of Victoria’s Secret. We believe the future is building a brand for every woman, regardless of her shape, size, age, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Some Love From USPTO

Victoria’s Secret got half a win from the Patent and Trademark Office.

The feds approved the “First Love” trademark for cosmetics and other beauty products. The office declined, however, to protect the company’s use of the phrase on clothing.

The decision had nothing to do with the similarities between the first and third loves, according to Fortune. Instead, the USPTO denied the trademark because it was already being used by a garment manufacturer in New York.

Consult an Experienced Intellectual Property Lawyer

If you or your business has been victimized by intellectual property theft or are grappling with related issues, an experienced intellectual property lawyer can help. At Glancy Prongay & Murray, our attorneys combine decades of experience in the courtroom and at the negotiating table to protect clients’ rights and hold intellectual property thieves fully accountable.

Our firm is pleased to offer a number of fee arrangements to share the financial risk with our clients. That includes partial and full contingency arrangements in many cases. Call us at (310) 201-9150 or contact us online to speak with an intellectual property attorney today.