Stussy and Competing Clothier Can't Agree on GOODS.

SANTA ANA, May 14, 2009 -- Clothiers Stussy, Inc. and The Goods, Inc. have taken their disagreement to federal court to determine whether GOODS can be an enforceable trademark in connection with goods.

Stussy, Inc. initiated legal proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California after receiving a cease and desist letter from The Goods Inc. claiming that Stussy was infringing the GOODS trademark.

According to the records maintained by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), The Goods Inc. began using the mark GOODS in connection with clothing in March, 1999 and registered the mark federally on January 21, 2003.

The term goods means tangible or movable items of personal property usually consisting of merchandise, supplies, raw materials, or finished products. Articles of clothing are goods.

Generic marks are not entitled to protection in a court of law and do not qualify for a federal trademark registration. A trademark is deemed generic when the trademark is synonymous with the goods or services itself.

Descriptive trademarks can be protected in a court of law but typically do not qualify for federal registration unless the applicant can demonstrate continuous use for at least five years during which time the mark achieved secondary meaning within the consuming public. Secondary meaning is established when a mark or identifying devise become associated with the source for goods or services above and beyond the literal meaning of the mark. Even when a descriptive mark has been registered, the registration may be challenged and cancelled by an interested party in the first five years. At the end of the initial five year period, the owner of a registration may obtain incontestable status which precluded cancellation for descriptiveness. Incontestable status does not preclude cancellation for genericness.

The Goods Inc.'s registration of GOODS received incontestable status on May 10, 2008.

Stussy, Inc. has been designing, manufacturing and selling clothing under the STUSSY brand since 1981. If Stussy can prove use of the GOODS trademark prior to March, 1999, they will be entitled to continue to use the mark and cancel the registration. Stussy can also petition the USPTO to cancel The Goods Inc.'s registration if the court decided GOODS is generic.

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