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2nd Circuit sides with Ralph Lauren in polo player logo fight

The court found that the U.S. Polo Association does not have the right to use a “double horseman” logo on men’s fragrances

The 2nd Circuit on Monday gave a victory to Ralph Lauren Corp. in the fashion company’s long-running legal battle with the U.S. Polo Association (USPA), ruling that the latter cannot use a “double horseman” logo on its fragrances because it too closely resembles Ralph Lauren’s trademarks.

In 1984, the USPA won the right to use a polo player logo on its retail goods, as long as the image was not likely to cause confusion with Ralph Lauren, which has featured its own famous polo player image on fragrances since 1978.

Then, in 2006, a Manhattan federal jury ruled that the USPA’s use of the logo on apparel was not infringing, provided that it was either an outline—as opposed to a solid image—or was accompanied by the letters “U.S.P.A.” The 2nd Circuit later upheld that ruling.

But a three-judge panel of the court wasn’t as sympathetic to USPA this week, when it rejected the polo association’s request for declaratory judgment that it could use the double horseman image on its men’s fragrance, which it introduced in 2009.

“The fact that USPA was authorized to use its Double Horseman logo in one industry—apparel—does not necessarily mean that it acted with good faith in using the same marks here at issue in a different industry—men’s fragrances,” the court wrote in its opinion.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

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Alanna Byrne

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