It’s the case of the Bourne Trademark Ultimatum. Universal is attempting to register the BOURNE trademark but a shoe company that uses BORN is trying to cancel the mark, for good.
Universal City Studios’ recent attempt at registering the trademark BOURNE in international class of good 25 (for clothing including sneakers and shoes) is the subject of this squabble. This is coming from a recent barrage by Universal registering BOURNE marks in classes 16, 28, 18, 41, 9, 14, etc… I’m omitting a few but you get the picture. The not quite James Bond franchise is still cranking out movies though they are not as popular as they once were.
Born is also the name and the trademark of a shoe company that I have never heard before. If its not Nike or Reebok, I’ve never heard of you. Born shoes alleges that their BORN mark will be damaged by the registration of the BOURNE mark. In a very short opposition, Born shoes claims that because Universal registered the BOURNE mark with the intent to produce “footwear,” and that the proposed goods are “closely related” to those that Born produces, consumers will likely perceive the BOURNE footwear as being sponsored by or affiliated with Born. Let me lay this out for you: Born makes footwear under the BORN mark, yes, but that footwear is almost exclusively women’s heals and other high fashion footwear. I’m no footwear expert, but I’m about 99.9999% positive that BOURNE footwear will not include heels and the like. It will likely be light up children’s shoes. I’m guessing why that is why this opposition is so short, because it seems pretty ridiculous.
Why Born doesn’t run through the exhaustive likelihood of confusion analysis, which includes similarity of the marks as to appearance, sound, connotation, and commercial impression? While they don’t appear similar they sound exactly the same. So if I say to my friend, “do you like my new red Born pumps/” My friend may not realize I meant the shoe brand and not the movie brand. That is consumer confusion folks. Mic drop. This will be an interesting battle but we can only assume that the parties can reach some kind of peace agreement where both can coexist.