Blow Dry Bar – Houston
While in LA I marveled at all the hair salons for blow drying hair. Who knew these salons were all over Texas. And, as much as we Texas gals like our hair fixed, it does seem like a natural fit.
Houston, Texas-based Blow Dry Bar, LLC seeks a declaratory judgment of non-infringement against Dallas, Texas-based DryBar Holdings, LLC’s trademark and trade dress. DryBar sent several cease and desist letters to Blow Dry Bar after Blow Dry Bar launched their first location and announced the opening of their second store. DryBar’s founder Alli Webb has been credited by many as creating the “blow dry salon” trend.
The term “blow dry bar” is descriptive at best and is quickly becoming generic for a hair salon that provides “blow drying.” A consumer sees blow dry bar and immediately knows the service available. Perhaps salons should start thinking less descriptive in order to develop a strong and defendable brand. The case, filed in 2012, is still active with a hearing on a Motion for Summary Judgment scheduled on April 25, 2013.
Blow Dry Bar, LLC v. Drybar Holdings LLC, 4:12-cv-02425 (S.D. Tex – Houston, filed Aug. 8, 2012).
Plano, Texas-based retailer, JC Penney Corporation, Inc., asked a judge in Texas federal court to find JCP’s use of the name Aspen to describe a pair of winter boots is not infringing of Aspen Licensing International, Inc’s “Aspen” trademark for footwear.
By filing a declaratory judgment action, JCP kept the case in the Eastern District of Texas requiring Aspen Licensing, a Florida entity, to come to JCP’s home court. According to court documents, Aspen sent several demand letters to JCP and made phone calls threatening litigation if JCP did not make a monetary settlement.
J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. v. Aspen Licensing International Inc., 4:13-cv-00066-RAS-DDB (E.D. Tex. filed Feb. 8, 2013).
Imagine that one day shoes you designed are gobbled up by Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker and Naomi Campbell. The next day you are fired from your namesake business with no control over a brand that is your name.
Shoe designers and fashion industry darlings Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison learned a lesson similar to Steve Jobs when he was fired by APPLE — if you take the investors’ money, you might be giving up a lot of control.
Sigerson and Morrison went into business together in 1991 and had a wonderful run. In 2006, looking for an infusion of cash, they made a deal with Marc Fisher Footwear for$2.6 million to acquire Sigerson Morrison and the intellectual-property rights to the name. Sigerson and Morrison each retained a 10% interest and a salary.
About a year ago Sigerson and Morrison were fired and litigation has been ongoing.
Clearly the trademark of Sigerson Morrison has a huge value. But, will the company be able to fill the shoes of the two namesake designers?