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One Direction company seeks to block 1-d drinking straws trademark

By | Published on Monday 24 January 2022

One Direction

Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson may not be back together singing, but they are joining up to do some suing. And some would argue that’s more fun. OK, I’d argue that’s more fun.

Actually, they are not really suing anyone. But a company they own together – 1D Media Limited – has filed papers with the US Trademark Office formally opposing an application by a company called 1st Defence Industries Inc which is trying to register a 1-d trademark.

If you are wondering whether 1st Defence Industries Inc is seeking to use the abbreviated One Direction brand on a new bomb, well no, it’s not actually a defence company at all. Instead it’s a company that makes eco-friendly products. Mainly eco-friendly pest control projects to date – which is possibly where the ‘defence’ bit comes in – although it is seeking to register a 1-d trademark in relation to eco-friendly drinking straws.

But won’t that confuse people into thinking One Direction the pop sensations are moving into the eco-friendly drinking straws business? I mean, the group may have been on hiatus since 2016, but while they were at their peak, there were few products that weren’t sold with a One Direction or 1D logo slapped on it. And as a result, 1D Media Limited owns a load of One Direction and 1D trademarks in the US.

“Opposer is the owner of the trademarks and service marks associated with the band One Direction, one of the most popular bands in the world”, the company’s filing opposing the 1st Defence Industries Inc trademark application stated last week. “As such, 1D Media offers or licenses others to sell a wide variety of goods and services in the United States and worldwide under marks associated with One Direction including the abbreviated form of their band name ‘1D'”.

“Applicant’s mark contains the word portion of proposer’s 1D word mark in its entirety (with the inclusion of a hyphen in between 1 and D), and is identical in meaning, and pronunciation to opposer’s 1D word mark”, it went on. “Moreover, the goods set forth in the 1st Defence … application are the same or very closely related to the goods listed in the 1D Media registration and in connection with which opposer’s 1D mark has been used”.

“Thus”, it concluded, “applicant’s 1-d mark, when used in connection with the goods described in the subject application, is likely to deceive or cause consumer confusion or mistake among members of the public and potential purchasers of the companies’ respective goods as to the source, sponsorship or composition of applicant’s goods in relation to opposer’s goods. Such confusion will damage opposer and injure its reputation in the trade and with the public”.

We await to see how the US Trademark Office rules. In the meantime, if you want some real 1D drinking straws, this website is selling them. I’ve no idea whether they are official, or eco-friendly, but they are definitely using the official 1D trademark.