After being accused of trademark infringement and after experiencing bullying by Lady Gaga and her army of fans, Philip Scott, the creator of "Gagajeans," has decided to change his company name. According to the World IP Review, Philip Scott, who designed the blue jeans with a horizontal zip open crotch, registered the Gagajeans trademark last month. (He currently has a patent for the design). Things got interesting when Scott tried to promote the jeans (which he has allegedly yet to sell) by posting links to his website, gagajeans.co, along with Lady Gaga’s music videos on YouTube. Not long after, he received a cease and desist from Gaga's lawyer, saying: “Your use and registration of the Gagajeans mark is likely to cause confusion, mistake and deception of customers that Lady Gaga is affiliated with or has sponsored, endorsed or is otherwise associated with your jeans, and is also likely to dilute the distinctiveness of our client’s famous trademark.” The letter further alleges that Scott’s use of gagajeans.co violates ICANN’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and requests that Scott abandon his pending trademark application for Gagajeans, deactivate the website, destroy any items bearing the mark, cease and desist any development, manufacture, sale, distribution and promotion of any products bearing the mark and stop promoting the mark.
According to a recently updated gagajeans.co, Scott posted the following: “I have heard your comments and in an effort to make everyone happy I am dropping the name ‘Gagajeans’. [Lady Gaga] has accused me of selling jeans with her trademark and the plain fact is that I have never to this day sold a pair of jeans. So maybe now the BULLYING will stop.” The jeans have been renamed “Easy Access Pheiress Jeans.”
As for whether Gaga has legitimate claims against Scott, Sarah Burstein, a professor of law at the University of Oklahoma (and one of our favorite fashion law sources), said: “Assuming that [Lady Gaga] has some sort of protectable right in the term ‘Gaga’ standing alone, it strikes me almost more likely to be a right of publicity issue than a straight up trademark issue. It’s not obvious to me that her registration would bar his. “We’re asking whether or not there’s going to be likelihood of confusion which is the ultimate test. The courts have lots of tests but they depend on a lot of factors. You’ll look at similarity of the mark, how the goods are sold – there’s a whole list of them depending on your circuit and so you have to look at a lot of these facts.”