Entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Group global conglomerate encompasses such well known entities as Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Mobile. As his empire flourishes, Branson continues to seek trademark protection for the Virgin name in unrelated fields resulting in a flurry of trademark infringement litigation throughout the United States.
Since 2012, the Virgin Group has opposed or delayed over 60 trademark registrations in the United States, many against companies and non-profits providing services that do not overlap with the activities of the Virgin Group. Most recently, the Virgin Group opposed trademark registrations for Virgin Valley Cab (a Northwest Arizona/Southeast Nevada taxi company), the Las Virgenes Educational Foundation (a Southern California education non-profit) and Virgin Vapor (a California manufacturer of liquefied nicotine for electronic cigarettes). The Virgin Group has also expressed interest in opposing the trademark registration of CBS Studios’ television sitcom “Jane the Virgin.”
While the Virgin Group stands behind its actions in the name of protecting its brand, others view the flurry of trademark infringement claims filed by the company as “trademark bullying.” Many small business owners engaged in costly and lengthy court battles with the Virgin Group, which has annual revenue of approximately $25 billion, agree. Many of these small businesses are forced to concede to the demands of the Virgin Group as an alternative to costly litigation. For example, small apparel retailer Virgin Threads eventually dropped its name as result of Virgin’s trademark infringement litigation.
The Virgin Group asserts that without the protection of its trademark name, consumers will be unable to tell the difference between their brand and the new ones. For a company like the Virgin Group, who continues to enter new commercial fields, their name is one of the greatest assets. Allowing other trademarks with the “Virgin” name arguably dilutes the power of the Virgin brand.
Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green represent Trademark and Intellectual Property Owners throughout the Delaware Valley
At the Law Offices of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, our dedicated Philadelphia business attorneys aggressively represent intellectual property owners in a wide range of trademark, copyright and intellectual property matters including copyright and trademark registration, infringement and enforcement actions. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey. To schedule your free confidential consultation, call the Philadelphia intellectual property attorneys at the Law Offices of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green today at 215-574-0600 or submit an online inquiry form.