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:
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