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The Battle For The “Nasty Woman”

The United States Presidential election is less than a week away, and the polls aren't the only thing heating up. All of the debates have

The United States Presidential election is less than a week away, and the polls aren’t the only thing heating up. All of the debates have brought us cringe worthy moments and ultimate guffaws from each side of the aisle. It’s also brought us some pretty fantastic turn of phrase wordsmithing. Only Donald Trump could have dropped such gems as “nasty woman” when referring to opponent Hillary Clinton, during the final presidential debate. So it’s no surprise that merchandisers are going crazy designing politically inspired swag.

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And, once something becomes popular, someone must own it. That’s capitalism in America, people.   Like any astute entrepreneur would do, Mike Lin filed an application for “Nasty Woman” on behalf of his company, 47 / 72, for online retail items, like clothing, posters, pillows, mugs, bags and electronic cases.

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According to The Fashion Law, Lin claimed that others are using the phrase without his permission.

One company, Nasty Gal, could be exempt from Lin’s criticisms, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claims that “marks [that] convey a similar general meaning and produce the same mental reaction” are defined as similar, so the secondary mark may not be eligible for registration.

A Los Angeles designer claimed retailers, like Nasty Gal (whose T-shirt is pictured) infringed on his trademark. (Image via The Fashion Law)

A Los Angeles designer claimed retailers, like Nasty Gal (whose T-shirt is pictured) infringed on his trademark. (Image via The Fashion Law)

So, in this case, it’s all about timing. Nasty Gal received their “Nasty Gal” mark before Lin filed for his own. This makes it virtually impossible for Lin to take legal action against Nasty Gal for copyright infringement, and also could potentially make it impossible for him to register the “Nasty Woman” trademark.

However, Mark Lin is not backing down. It now seems as if he intends to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to his advantage, and sue any alleged infringers, moving forward.

Guess if you can’t beat ’em, at least reduce the playing field.

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