Saturday, December 12, 2009

Speaking of Trademarks: "Hats Are Back!"

(Hat Image Source:

Just check out the Fedoras, etc. that are catalogued under "Guys Hats & Beanies" and which are available for sale at trendy surf&skate apparel retailer, PACSUN® ! A client just forwarded this link below this morning and it is a beauty and definitely confirms that "Hats Are Back!"

In the next photo, the undersigned author purchased this rattan fedora recently while on vacation in Waikiki. Not a rainy day weather hat, but a beauty in the sun and for reaffirming the holiday aura.

Like we said before, Hats are Back and in a Big Way ! Check out this Hat worn by Woody Harrelson in the recent zombie cult classic, ZOMBIELAND:

(Source: Entertainment Weekly, 10.30.09, pg. 22)

And fans of the hit cable tv series, MAD MEN, know that the character of Don Draper is often attired with a Fedora (see below). As a matter of fact, the DOBBS® hat which Don Draper wears and carries in the show is known as "the Don Draper signature fedora" with a two-inch brim that's slightly wider than was in fashion at the time, according to Mad Men Costume Head, Janie Bryant, as interviewed in Entertainment Weekly, on page 65 of EW's "On the Set Special '09 issue.

(Source: Entertainment Weekly, "On the Set Special '09", page 65)

(Photo above shows Actor-Comedian, Steve Harvey, in a DOBBS® hat advertisement on the wall inside Seattle, WA Hat Merchant, BYRNIE UTZ HATS).

(Photo above shows Seattle, WA, Hat Retailer, BYRNIE UTZ HATS.)

Have you noticed the hat craze that has stealthily crept up in the fashion landscape. Rock 'n Roll artists (Pete Doherty, singer/songwriter in the band Babyshambles).


entertainers (Justin Timberlake), plus professional athletes (the Lakers, Lamar Odom), as well as on the street. Classic brimmed hat styles like the Trilby and Fedora are the apparent popular choices these days. Fashion labels like Armani and Prada included models wearing brimmed hats in their Spring/Summer 2005 shows (source: WSJ).

(Photo shows Lamar Odom wearing a Kangol® hat; Photo source:

Fashion retailers such as Marc Jacob and J. Crew now carry brimmed hats. Surf/Skate Fashion Icon, Quiksilver, also has its own line of custom made brimmed hats for active youth.

For the benefit of the audience, we will now summarize some of the basic trademark issues one should consider when going into business to sell products and how one goes about protecting their brand name so that third parties are not only discouraged from using the same name, but also providing the owner with defensible rights to go after counterfeiters and copiers.

One trademark registration in the U.S. for "CASUAL HATS, CAPS EXCLUDING BASEBALL CAPS, AND BERETS", in International Class #25, is for the trademark, "KANGOL (and design)", which indicates that the mark includes both words and graphic elements, aka, "composite mark". As part of the public record on USPTO, below is the image of this composite mark.

QUIKSILVER® also has a trademark registration that includes "hats" in Intl. Class #25, as well as other apparel related goods, as follows: "Footwear; headwear; wetsuits; swimwear; t-shirts; shirts and casual tops with long and short sleeves; sleeveless shirts; sleeveless tops; sweat tops; jackets; coats; shorts; board shorts; walk shorts; long pants; trousers; jeans; dresses; skirts; ski wear and snowboard wear, namely, ski pants, ski jackets, snowboard pants, and snowboard jackets; underwear; socks; belts; gloves; beanies; hats; visors; caps; surf hoods; boots; shoes; thonged and strapped sandals.

(Image above shows the "Quiksilver Maestro Fedora"; Source:

The obvious benefit of a U.S. Federal trademark registration on the Principal Register is that it provides the owner with presumptively valid rights throughout the United States.
This is a huge benefit entitling the owner to exclusivity of use. While "use" remains the basis of trademark rights in the U.S., your rights at common law are limited to the area of your geographic exploitation of the mark. Thus, why would you risk selling goods under a brand across several states when you could gain exclusive rights throughout the U.S. ?

There are other benefits to a trademark registration and we invite the reader to visit our website and read some of the "ARTICLES" posted therein at:

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The author's own personal favorite hat, a MALLORY® Fedora, which he has owned since 1974 when he bought it secondhand at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop in Santa Monica, Calif. Shown here after just very recently having been cleaned, blocked and repaired at Baron Hats, in Burbank, Calif.

(Photo below shows the author wearing the very same hat in college at UCSB in June 1976.)

(Photo below shows Burbank, Calif. based hat retailer, "BARON HATS". "Hollywood's Hat Maker".)

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1 comment:

Nils said...

Yo. I have lots of hats that I am going to start sporting. Love the picture of the author in 1977. Very vintage stuff.