Who Owns the Fashion Week Name

The new organizers of Los Angeles Fashion Week events are creating a bit of confusion among the fashion crowd. Because Arthur Chipman has trademarked the name LA Fashion Week, fashion show organizers are wondering if they can no longer use LA Fashion Week in their title and whether that extends to the term Los Angeles Fashion Week.

Plus, another, Fashion Week Los Angeles, has a name that is very close to Fashion Week LA, which is an online fashion calendar launched by Jen Üner in 2002 to keep track of all the fashion shows held during Los Angeles Fashion Week. For several seasons, Fashion Week LA was involved in the LA Fashion Awards event productions and offered cross-venue registration services and events for designers, buyers and press.

In 2011, Üner’s firm, Five Foot Jen LLC, registered the Fashion Week LA trademark, which later caused confusion when Chipman made his first efforts to trademark the LA Fashion Week name.

At the time, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found the two trademarks—LA Fashion Week and Fashion Week LA—were confusing to the average person. So Chipman’s trademark initially was refused.

But in 2012, according to government documents, Üner signed an agreement with Chipman so that both their trademarks could coexist.

Chipman then registered LA Fashion Week as a supplemental registration, which gives him the right to use the trademark symbol in connection with LA Fashion Week and sue in federal court if the trademark is infringed upon. He said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office extended the trademark to Los Angeles Fashion Week.

Just to complicate things, Üner recently sold Fashion Week LA to Veronica Kerzner, the organizer of Style Fashion Week, who is now wondering about newcomer Fashion Week Los Angeles and whether its name can coexist with Fashion Week LA.

With so many events and names, fashion goers now need a scorecard to keep track of who is where and when. “There is definitely confusion over all of this,” said Trish Concannon, executive director of Fashion Business Inc. “It would be nice to have some kind of cohesive thing going on where everyone worked together. I feel everyone is so separate here in Los Angeles.”

Concannon, who is also the regional director of Fashion Group International–Los Angeles, said she fielded several phone calls from people confused about the various events going on in town.