20:38 GMT17 May 2021
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    An asterisk pinpoints an area that needs to be fixed or readjusted. To use an asterisk within a business brand is to openly admit to consumers that somewhere within the framework of your marketing technique, there are flaws, which is why most companies have a list of terms and conditions.

    Walmart Apollo LLC has filed a notice of opposition against famed artist Kanye West’s Yeezy LLC in an attempt to challenge West’s proposed logo for his apparel brand, saying that the symbol being used is too similar to the design used to represent the retailer’s brand.

    According to NBC News, Walmart attorney Erica Goven, wrote a letter to West’s representatives earlier this month, stating that the retail giant “believes the logo design depicted in the Yeezy Application is confusingly similar to Walmart’s well-known spark logo design.” Goven goes on to say that the company is open to negotiating with Yeezy LLC on the usage of the logo.

    The notice of the opposition, which was filed with the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on April 21, claims that the Walmart logo “will be damaged by registration of [Yeezy LLC’s] mark,” due to the similarities. The retailer, which represents the second-largest e-commerce market in the US, has claimed that in addition to the logo being well-established, the design also represents the “goodwill” of the company.

    In 2005, Walmart lost a legal battle against grunge band Nirvana and fashion designer Marc Jacobs over usage of the trademark yellow smiley face that it had often used to sell its incredibly low prices. In 2008, Walmart stated that it would be updating its brand which has evolved multiple times over the years.

    “For the past two years, a customer-focused transformation has been taking place in Walmart’s US business. Walmart’s US locations will update store logos as part of an ongoing evolution of its overall brand – customers have already seen this in refreshed store signage and recent print advertisements and TV commercials. But what really matters is what happens out there in the stores. This update to the logo is simply a reflection of the refresh taking place inside our stores and our renewed sense of purpose to help people save money so they can live better,” Walmart wrote in the release.

    West submitted his application to trademark the Yeezy symbol based on use in commerce under Under Code Title 15 (15 U.S.C. § 1051). The application was filed on January 3, 2020, and is now working its way through the US Patent and Trademark Office. In the application, the symbol is described as an “eight dotted lines, each comprising three totally shaded circles, with a total of 24 circles, arranged at equal angles as rays from a sun.” 

    West has been making a lot of moves this month: Tuesday featured the sale of his new Yeezy Slides, which all sold out quickly. A prototype of the Nike shoes West wore during the Grammy Awards in 2008 for his “Hey Mama” and “Stronger” performances also sold for $1.8 million in a private sale earlier this week.

    The application the Yeezy brand submitted states it intends to use the mark for several different things from clothing, music and cybersecurity to the construction of “modular homes.” 

    Walmart has also filed notice of opposition against various other companies this week, including Hefei Sanxia Import and Export Trade Co. Ltd., Globeride Inc. and Liberty Procurement Co, Inc.

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    Tags:
    brand, logo, design, Walmart, Kanye West
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