by Dennis Crouch
Timberland has been selling its iconic boots back in 1973 – almost 50 years ago. Actually, at the time the company name was Abington Shoes, but quickly changed its name to Timberland Boot because of the popularity. Timberland did not patent or register a copyright the design, and the market it rife with copycat boots.
Over the past several years, Timberland has been attempting to register the shape of the boots as protectable trade dress. However, the USPTO’s Trademark Trial & Appeal Board (TTAB) rejected the application, finding that the the company had failed to demonstrate that the boot shape had acquired secondary meaning in the eyes of consumers. The examiner had also rejected the trade dress registration as improperly functional, but the TTAB did not reach that issue.
In a new lawsuit, Timberland has asked a district court judge to overturn these rulings and find that the trade dress is distinctive and registrable.
Complaint: TBL Registering TM on Timberlands
Should Timberland be permitted to register a trademark (Trade Dress) on its "iconic timberland boot"??
Lawsuit pending in TBL Licensing v. Hirshfeld (EDVA).
— Dennis Crouch (@patentlyo) July 8, 2021