Horizon Mills Corp. v. QVC, Inc.
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
161 F.Supp. 2d 208 (2001)
Horizon Mills Corp. (Horizon) (plaintiff) developed and marketed a fabric made from acetate and spandex called SLINKY. Horizon registered the SLINKY trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. QVC, Inc. (QVC) (defendant) retailed goods through its cable network and online retailing services. QVC used “slinky” to describe both acetate-spandex blend fabric and women’s apparel made from this type of fabric. Media, the women’s apparel trade, and consumers began to use the term “slinky” to describe stretchy, flowing fabrics that hug the body and are made of acetate, spandex, and other man-made materials. Horizon sued QVC for trademark infringement. QVC moved for summary judgment. QVC argued that Horizon’s SLINKY mark was generic and, therefore, ineligible for trademark protection. In support of its motion, QVC submitted over 60 media uses of the term “slinky.”
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Schwartz, J.)
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