Valentino lost its ‘rockstud’


When you think of ‘Rockstud’, what do you think of?  What is the first thing that comes into your mind?

In the US, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is refusing to let Italian luxury fashion house Valentino register its ‘Rockstud Spike’. It ruled that ‘Spike’ simply describes Valentino’s products.  A 3 judge panel for TTAB upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decision in 2018 to refuse to register the ‘Rockstud Spike’ mark as it “merely describes [Valentino’s] goods”. In its April 15th ruling, the TTAB argued that if Valentino does not agree with the definition given by UPSTO there is evidence in support of their argument, that the definition of ‘Spike’ varies. TTAB gave examples of various websites and designers such as Neiman Marcus, Gucci and Farfetch that “..use the word SPIKE to describe [an array of different] embellishments or features on the types of goods identified in [Valentino’s] application”. The board pointed to examples like Prada sandals on Farfetch which are described as ‘Prada Spike Caged Sandals’ and a pair of Louboutin heels on Neiman Marcus’ website as ‘Escapric Spike 100mm Red Sole pumps’.  The TTAB went further and said that  Valentino’s “purses and shoes, as well as those of third parties, contain pointed metal pieces” and “taper to a point or edge and have an elongated shape in relation to the flat surface on which they are attached”. Therefore the TTAB panel came to the conclusion that Valentine’s ‘Rockstud’ fell into this category and that ‘Spike’ just describe a feature of their luxury items.

What words, pictues or ideas came to to your mind when I asked you what ‘Rockstud’ was? Well, with me, I know what the ‘Rockstud’ is because I am an avid fashion follower. Did you know that ‘Rockstud’ refers to purses, bags, shoes and other accessories made by Valentino?  Out of curiosity, I googled the ‘Rockstud’ and straight away it came up with all of Valentino’s Rockstuds.  This is what I found:

Rockstud 1

Rockstud 2

Rockstud 3

You cannot tell me that Rockstud and Valentino are not associated with one another. It is like not having egg in an English breakfast, that is what Rockstud is to Valentino. Rockstud is Valentino’s signature.  We all know Valentino for its ’Valentino Red’, haute couture, glamorous dresses and for dressing the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lopez. It is a known fact that Valentino makes most its money from accessories ( the ‘Rockstud’ embellishments are all over their accessories). A few years after the ‘Rockstud’ shoes hit the runway, Valentino overall sales doubled- with half of the growth attributed to the ‘Rockstud’ heels. Since its launch, the Rockstuds have sold out every year- in December 2018 Valentino sales had increased  from $590 million in 2013 to $1.4 billion in 2018. Valentino has its ‘Rockstud’ to thank for. The ‘Rockstud’ is a wardrobe staple and a classic, I will never ever get over it.  I mean, everyone and their Mum were wearing it in the 2000s and 2010s. Every shop was doing knock offs and copycats- you can see my Russell & Bromely ones here and here and I also own a pair of Dune sandals inspired by the ‘Rockstud’ sandals. It is a shoe that you can buy in every different colour, different style, trainer, block heel or belt.

So what do you think? Do you think the TTAB made the right decision? My thoughts are: the ‘Rockstud’ is Valentino’s signature just like how breakfast belongs to us the British- sorry but not sorry.

Stay Blessed x

Robin Thicke accused of Infringing Marvin Gaye’s Song

Robin Thicke accused of Infringing Marvin Gaye’s Song

Marvin Gaye and Robin Thicke

We all know Robin Thicke’s number one hit ‘Blurred Lines’. It has been controversial for many reasons. However, recently the song has been hit with fresh criticism. This time it is from Marvin Gaye’s family.

Marvin Gaye’s family responded to a Robin Thicke lawsuit which claimed parts of his hit ‘Blurred Lines’ weren’t stolen from Gaye’s 1977 hit ‘Got to Give up’.  Gaye’s children have launched a number of counter claims against Thicke and record label EMI.

As well as claiming that Thicke copyright infringed ‘Got to Give Up’, his children claim that he has copied many of Marvin Gaye’s songs. His family have argued that EMI ( is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing) should lose all the profits on the Platinum rated single ‘Blurred Lines’ and that they should gain rights to administer the song under Marvin Gaye’s catalogue.

Gaye’s children have claimed EMI of breaching contract by failing to protect Marvin Gaye’s musical work and by attempting to turn public opinion against the family.

This case comes after, Gaye’s family threatened a Court battle in August against Thicke. Thicke and the song’s producers Pharrell Williams and T.I asked the judge to declare that ‘Blurred Lines’ did not infringe on Gaye’s musical work.

Robin Thicke has previously praised Marvin Gaye’s song ‘Got to Give up’ in a interview with Billboard. He described it as his favourite song of all time and that he wished to make a song like that with Pharrell in the studio. Gaye’s children are pointing to this interview to support their case.

Was the song copyright infringed or used for mere inspiration?