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Case: 2:13-cv-00733-EAS-TPK Doc #: 1 Filed: 07/24/13 Page: 1 of 13 PAGEID #: 1

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO

EASTERN DIVISION

VICTORIA’S SECRET STORES BRAND
MANAGEMENT, INC.,
Four Limited Parkway
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068

Plaintiff,

v.

THOMAS PINK LIMITED,
1 Palmerston Court
Palmerston Way
London SW8 4AJ
United Kingdom

and,

THOMAS PINK, INC.
19 E. 57th Street, 19th Floor
New York, New York 10022

Defendants.

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Civil Action No.: 2:13-cv-13-733

Judge:

Jury Trial Demanded

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

VICTORIA’S SECRET STORES BRAND MANAGEMENT,

INC.

(“Plaintiff,”

“Victoria’s Secret,” or “VS”) by and through its attorneys, brings this action for declaratory

judgment and alleges against Defendants THOMAS PINK LIMITED and THOMAS PINK,

INC. (hereinafter, collectively “Defendants” or “Thomas Pink”) as follows:

NATURE OF THE ACTION

1.

Victoria’s Secret seeks a declaration that its use of “VICTORIA’S SECRET

PINK” and related “PINK” trademarks and trade names does not infringe Defendants’ rights in

any way. On May 10, 2013, Thomas Pink Limited sued Plaintiff’s related company Victoria’s

Case: 2:13-cv-00733-EAS-TPK Doc #: 1 Filed: 07/24/13 Page: 2 of 13 PAGEID #: 2

Secret UK Limited in the Patents County Court in the United Kingdom (the “U.K. Action”),

claiming that VS’ use of “VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK” infringes its rights. The U.K. Action

places VS at imminent risk of a suit on the same grounds in the U.S. Accordingly, VS brings

this action to clarify the rights of the Parties, allowing them to continue the peaceful coexistence

that has been in place for many years.

THE PARTIES

2.

Plaintiff is a Delaware corporation with offices at Four Limited Parkway,

Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068, and is qualified to do business and is doing business in the State of

Ohio and in this judicial district.

3.

On information and belief, Defendant Thomas Pink Limited is a British company

incorporated on March 5, 1986, having its principal place of business in London, England, and is

transacting business in the State of Ohio and in this judicial district.

4.

On information and belief, Defendant Thomas Pink,

Inc.

is a Delaware

corporation with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Upon information and

belief, Thomas Pink, Inc. is a subsidiary of Thomas Pink Limited and is transacting business in

the State of Ohio and in this judicial district.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

5.

The Court has jurisdiction over this declaratory judgment action pursuant to the

Federal Declaratory Judgments Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201(a) and 2202, as well as under 28 U.S.C.

§§ 1331, 1367(a) and 1338(a) and (b), and the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1121.

6.

The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants because, on information and

belief, Defendants solicit and transact business in the State of Ohio, within this judicial district.

7.

Venue is proper in this judicial district under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b) and (c) and

1400(a).

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Case: 2:13-cv-00733-EAS-TPK Doc #: 1 Filed: 07/24/13 Page: 3 of 13 PAGEID #: 3

FACTS

VICTORIA’S SECRET’S BUSINESS AND TRADEMARKS

8.

Plaintiff Victoria’s Secret owns and operates more than 1,000 VICTORIA’S

SECRET retail stores nationwide. Through its VICTORIA’S SECRET stores, as well as the

Victoria’s Secret Catalog, and the VS website, www.victoriassecret.com, VS sells a wide range

of women’s intimate and other apparel, and beauty and personal care products and accessories.

Victoria’s Secret sells products using the famous VICTORIA’S SECRET trademark and trade

name, as well as numerous sub-brands, trademarks and trade names.

9.

Beginning as early as 2001, VS has used the trademark VICTORIA’S SECRET

PINK in connection with a variety of products, including women’s intimate and other apparel,

and beauty and personal care products and accessories.

10.

Over the years, VS has actively used, promoted and registered a growing family

of VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK trademarks and trade names (hereafter the “VICTORIA’S

SECRET PINK Marks” or “VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Brand”).

11.

For example, a section of the Victoria’s Secret website promotes the “PINK

NATION,” an online community providing members with access to special offers and events.

Customers may also join the PINK NATION by downloading iPad and phone “apps,” gaining

access to additional branded experiences, activities, interactions and ecommerce opportunities.

Over 3 million fans have downloaded the PINK NATION app for iPhone and Android;

altogether, the PINK NATION has over 5.8 million registered members and is growing daily.

12.

Plaintiff has extensively promoted the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Brand in

social media, including on Facebook, where the brand has over 1 million “fans” and over 12

million “likes.”

In addition, since as early as 2006, popular, national publications such as

Seventeen, People, and Cosmopolitan have featured VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK branded

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products in fashion editorials, and the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Brand has been covered in

mainstream news and business publications including The New York Times, Newsday, The

Boston Herald, The Chicago Sun-Times and The Columbus Dispatch, among others.

13.

Plaintiff has prominently featured its VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK branded

products in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, an annual television broadcast on the CBS

network that has become one of the most anticipated fashion events of the year, boasting

viewership of more than ten million in recent years. Plaintiff also actively promotes its

VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Brand on college campuses throughout the country, with the

assistance of more than 100 campus representatives, and by organizing promotional events

featuring high profile musical acts and other celebrities.

14.

Plaintiff’s VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK branded products are sold in

VICTORIA’S SECRET stores, including in dedicated store sections using the VICTORIA’S

SECRET PINK Brand. Plaintiff’s store signage and window displays oftentimes present its VS

retail locations as VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK branded or featuring VICTORIA’S SECRET

PINK branded merchandise.

In addition, Plaintiff operates dozens of standalone retail stores

using the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Brand.

(Together,

the outlets where Plaintiff’s

VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK branded merchandise is available are referred to as the

“VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Locations.”)

15.

As a result of these promotional efforts, and VS’ commitment to providing high

quality goods and services, Plaintiff’s VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Brand has become a

dominant lifestyle brand targeting college girls and celebrating campus life. In December 2012,

the fashion trade journal Women’s Wear Daily ranked Plaintiff’s VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK

Brand among the Top 100 most recognized fashion brands in the U.S., based on a survey of

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women aged 13 to 64, at # 94.

(In the same survey, Plaintiff’s VICTORIA’S SECRET brand

was ranked as the # 1 most recognized fashion brand in the country.)

16.

Products bearing Plaintiff’s VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks have been very

successful, yielding sales in excess of $6 billion through 2012. Sales of products bearing the

VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks now exceed $1.5 billion annually.

17.

Victoria’s Secret owns

the following U.S.

federal

registrations

for

its

VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks (the “VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Registrations”):

Registration No. Mark
2,820,380
2,992,758
3,226,760
3,234,287
3,386,282
3,502,263
3,520,974
3,544,100
3,565,927
3,631,914
3,665,102
3,726,618
3,729,795
3,750,738
3,782,747
3,805,362

VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK
VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK
VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK
PINK DOG
PHI BETA PINK
VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK
VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK
DRENCHED IN PINK
PINK IS LIFE
SQUEAKY PINK
PINK UNIVERSITY
PINK ME UP
PINK NATION
PINK U
LIVE PINK

3,840,101

3,853,421
3,883,774
3,940,420

LIFE IS PINK
HOPE PINK

Word portion: 1986 PINK
NATION VICTORIA’S
SECRET

Registration
Date
Mar. 2, 2004
Sept. 6, 2005
April 10, 2007
April 24, 2007
Feb. 19, 2008
Sept. 16, 2008
Oct. 21, 2008
Dec. 9, 2008
Jan. 20, 2009
June 2, 2009
Aug. 4, 2009
Dec. 15, 2009
Dec. 22, 2009
Feb. 16, 2010
April 27, 2010
June 22, 2010

Class(es)
25
25
20, 24
25
24, 25
35
3
3
35
3
16, 18, 25
3
35
25
3
25

Aug. 31, 2010

Sept. 28, 2010
Nov. 30, 2010
Apr. 5, 2011

35

3
3
35

3,992,764

VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK

July 12, 2011

25

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Registration No. Mark
3,993,100
4,010,593
4,061,503
4,061,574
4,061,578
4,097,199
4,097,220
4,164,695
4,219,269
4,336,625

I ONLY SLEEP IN PINK
ALOHA PINK
HOT FOR PINK
MAKE ME PINK
FOREVER PINK
GIVE A LITTLE PINK
MERRY MERRY PINK
OH WHAT FUN IS PINK
PINK BEACH
LIFE IS PINK IS LIFE

Registration
Date
July 12, 2011
Aug. 9, 2011
Nov. 22, 2011
Nov. 22, 2011
Nov. 22, 2011
Feb. 7, 2012
Feb. 7, 2012
June 26, 2012
Oct. 2, 2012
May 21, 2013

Class(es)
25
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
35

18.

To Plaintiff’s knowledge, its use of the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks has

never caused an instance of consumer confusion as to the source or affiliation of any of its

products or services.

THOMAS PINK’S BUSINESS AND TRADEMARKS

19.

On information and belief, Defendant Thomas Pink began doing business in

London in or about 1986, selling men’s dress shirts. The company is named for an 18th century

tailor who designed hunting coats, and Defendants continue to use a “cheeky fox” mascot as a

branding element, intended to serve as a reminder of Thomas Pink’s claimed “tradition of

excellence” for “meticulously crafted shirts.” Thomas Pink’s flagship store is located on Jermyn

Street in London, home of traditional British shirt-making.

20.

On information and belief, over the years, Thomas Pink has expanded the range

of products it offers to include women’s shirts, among other things, but men’s dress shirts remain

the primary focus of Thomas Pink’s business, and constitute a significant majority of its

revenues.

21.

All of Defendants’ products are directed particularly to the higher price end of the

market.

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22.

In the U.S., Defendants sell their products through owned stores, in branded

sections of third party retailers, such as Macy’s (together the “Thomas Pink Locations”), and

through what

they

call

“the

largest Thomas Pink

store

of

all”—its website,

www.thomaspink.com.

23.

On information and belief, Defendants have never offered women’s intimate

apparel, or beauty or personal care products in the U.S., and have no intention of offering such

products in the U.S. in the future.

24.

On information and belief, Thomas Pink owns U.S.

federal

trademark

Registration Nos. 2,429,601 for THOMAS PINK (Classes 14, 18, 21, 24, 25, 26 and 35);

3,199,280 for PINK THOMAS PINK JERMYN STREET LONDON Logo (Classes 14, 18, 25

and 35); and 3,207,031 for THOMAS PINK (Class 3).

A DECADE OF COEXISTENCE

25.

The Parties have been aware of one another, and their mutual use and registration

of the above trademarks, since at least as early as 2005. Between August 16 and September 28,

2005, counsel for the Parties corresponded concerning their respective rights with regard to the

term “PINK.” There were no further communications between the Parties on this issue until the

filing of the U.K. Action.

26.

The Parties have mutually sold their products online for many years, without

conflict or confusion of any kind.

27. Many of the Parties’ respective retail Locations are in close physical proximity to

one another, in the same cities, the same business districts, and in some instances the same mall

complexes.

28.

Despite the physical proximity of the Parties’ respective retail Locations, and their

mutual sales of many millions of dollars in merchandise over many years’ time, on information

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and belief, Defendants have never experienced even a single instance of consumer confusion as

between the Parties’ respective trademarks, products, services or businesses.

29.

Defendants did not oppose any of

the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK

Registrations.

THE U.K. ACTION

30.

Thomas Pink filed and served the U.K. Action on May 10, 2013, without prior

notice to Plaintiff or Victoria’s Secret UK Limited.

31.

Victoria’s Secret UK Limited has denied the salient allegations in the U.K.

Action.

32.

Based on the U.K. Action, VS has a real and reasonable apprehension of U.S.

litigation with regard to the same trademarks and issues involved in the U.K. Action alleging

infringement.

33.

There is no likelihood of confusion as to the source or affiliation of the Parties’

respective products, services, or businesses.

COUNT I

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT FOR NON-INFRINGEMENT

OF TRADEMARK

34.

Victoria’s Secret repeats the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 33 of

this complaint, as if fully set forth herein.

35.

A real and actual dispute, case, and/or controversy exists between the Parties as to

a state of facts, in particular VS’ past use and continued use of its VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK

Marks.

36.

Victoria’s Secret and Defendants have adverse and antagonistic interests in the

subject matter of the dispute, case, and/or controversy.

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37.

Victoria’s Secret seeks a declaratory judgment that its past use and continued use

of the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks is not intended or likely to cause confusion, mistake,

or deception as between the source, association, or affiliation of the Parties’ respective products,

services or businesses, under the Lanham Act, Ohio trademark common law, or Ohio statutory

law, including but not limited to R.C. § 4165.01 et seq.

38.

Victoria’s Secret further seeks a declaratory judgment that its past use and

continued use of the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks has not and does not jeopardize the

goodwill, if any, symbolized by Thomas Pink’s registered trademarks, nor does it cause any

other injury to Defendants under the Lanham Act, Ohio trademark common law, or Ohio

statutory law, including but not limited to R.C. § 4165.01 et seq.

COUNT II

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT – NO UNFAIR COMPETITION

15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) and Ohio Law

39.

Victoria’s Secret repeats the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 38 of

this complaint, as if fully set forth herein.

40.

A real and actual dispute, case, and/or controversy exists between the Parties as to

a state of facts, in particular VS’ past use and continued use of its VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK

Marks and trade names.

41.

Victoria’s Secret and Defendants have adverse and antagonistic interests in the

subject matter of the dispute, case, and/or controversy.

42.

Victoria’s Secret seeks a declaratory judgment that its past use and continued use

of the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks and trade names is not intended or likely to cause

confusion, mistake, or deception as between the source, association, or affiliation of the Parties’

respective products, services, or businesses, and does not unfairly compete with Defendants,

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under the Lanham Act, Ohio unfair competition common law, or Ohio statutory law, including

but not limited to R.C. § 4165.01 et seq.

43.

Victoria’s Secret further seeks a declaratory judgment that its past use and

continued use of the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks and trade names has not and does not

cause any injury to Defendants under the Lanham Act, Ohio unfair competition common law, or

Ohio statutory law, including but not limited to R.C. § 4165.01 et seq.

COUNT III

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT FOR DETERMINATION OF

NO FALSE DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN

15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)

44.

Victoria’s Secret repeats the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 43 of

this complaint, as if fully set forth herein.

45.

A real and actual dispute, case, and/or controversy exists between the Parties as to

a state of facts, in particular VS’ past use and continued use of its VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK

Marks and trade name.

46.

Victoria’s Secret and Defendants have adverse and antagonistic interests in the

subject matter of the dispute, case, and/or controversy.

47.

Victoria’s Secret seeks a declaratory judgment that that its past and continued use

of the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks and trade names is not intended or likely to cause

confusion, mistake, or deception as between the source, association, or affiliation, or as to the

origin, sponsorship or approval of the Parties’ respective products, services, or businesses, and

does not constitute a false designation of origin, under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).

48.

Victoria’s Secret further seeks a declaratory judgment that its past use and

continued use of the VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks has not and does not jeopardize the

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goodwill, if any, symbolized by Thomas Pink’s registered or unregistered trademarks, nor does it

cause any other injury to Defendants under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).

COUNT IV

DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ON EQUITABLE GROUNDS

49.

Victoria’s Secret repeats the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 48 of

this complaint, as if fully set forth herein.

50.

Defendants have been fully aware of VS’ use, promotion and registration of its

growing family of VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks and trade names, since at least as early

as August, 2005.

51.

Until the filing of the U.K. Action, Defendants did not raise any issue with respect

to VS’ use, promotion and registration of its growing family of VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK

Marks and trade names, in any jurisdiction, for nearly eight years.

52.

Victoria’s Secret relied on Defendants’ silence and inaction in using, promoting

and registering its growing family of VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks and trade names.

53.

Victoria’s Secret would be unfairly prejudiced by any attempt by Defendants to

institute any action or proceeding with respect to VS’ use or registration of VICTORIA’S

SECRET PINK Marks or trade names in connection with its business.

54.

Defendants are barred from objecting to, or instituting any action or proceeding

with respect to, VS’ use or registration of VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks or trade names in

connection with its business, based on laches, acquiescence, estoppel and/or other equitable

principles.

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PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, VS prays for a declaratory judgment that:

A.

Victoria’s Secret’s past, present and continued use and registration of

VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks and trade names in connection with its business does not

and will not infringe any of Thomas Pink’s trademark or trade name rights, or compete unfairly

with Defendants, or falsely designate the origin of VS’s products or services, or otherwise

constitute a violation of any of Defendants’ rights;

B.

Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys, and

those persons in active concert or participation or otherwise in privity with them, be permanently

enjoined and restrained from instituting, prosecuting or threatening any action against VS, or any

of its affiliates, or anyone in privity with them, with respect to VS’ use or registration of

VICTORIA’S SECRET PINK Marks and trade names in connection with its business; and

C.

Victoria’s Secret have such other and further relief as the Court may deem

just and proper.

Dated: July 24, 2013

Respectfully submitted by:

/s/ Keith Shumate
Keith Shumate (0056190)
Heather Stutz (0078111)
Squire Sanders (US) LLP
2000 Huntington Center
41 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
614.365.2700
keith.shumate@squiresanders.com
heather.stutz@squiresanders.com

Kevin C. Parks
Michelle L. Zimmermann
(Pending admission pro hac vice)
Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd.
180 North Stetson

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Two Prudential Plaza, Suite 4900
Chicago, Illinois
312.616.5669
kparks@leydig.com
mzimmermann@leydig.com

Attorneys for Plaintiff
VICTORIA’S SECRET STORES BRAND
MANAGEMENT, INC.

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