You wouldn’t think you could trademark a literal, public location like Bondi Beach. But, much in the same way as Taylor Swift likes to try trademarking shit like ‘this sick beat’ and the literal year ‘1989’, it seems that anything can be up for grabs if you have a kick-ass legal team and the balls to give it a shot.
That’s exactly what’s happened in the States this week, where Aussie company Bondi Wash is planning an expansion. In doing this, they’ve given trademarking their brand name a shot – and come up against some strong opposition from the brand that’s a huge fan of shirtless men, Abercrombie & Fitch.
Waverley mayor Sally Betts has gotten involved in the whole shebang, directing her council to write to Abercrombie and demand it relinquish its trademark rights in the US. She’s also contacted the Federal Trade Minister Steven Ciobo to see if he can help out as well.
The main issue is that in Oz, there are loads of brands that incorporate iconic Bondi into their name. And they all co-exist nicely. For example, there’s Bondi Icebergs. Bondi Sands, a tanning line. There’s even the delicious Bondi burger by Oporto (goddamn, now I want a Bondi burger). Bondi Wash is all g on the trademark front here in Australia, by the way.
But the primo issue in the States seems to be that Bondi Wash is a line of beauty products, and Abercrombie & Fitch’s trademark for ‘Bondi Beach’ is centred around their own beauty range. Even more fucked? According to Bondi Wash, Abercrombie isn’t even USING the ‘Bondi Beach’ terminology anymore.
“Use of the marks…has been discontinued with the intent not to resume such use. Thus the Registrant has abandoned its trademarks,” the brand stated in it’s petition to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Not that Abercrombie is budging.
“Abercrombie & Fitch respectfully requests that [Bondi Wash’s] petition for cancellation be dismissed in its entirety, and that registration be denied,” they responded. Ouch.
The company is now apparently trying to find a way around the whole issue by trademarking under a diff category like ‘household cleaning preparations’, since they have some products that are for the home.
Image: Instagram / @bondiwash.