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Why Iron Maiden Thinks Consumers May Be Confused By a Proposed Trademark

by | Jun 29, 2023 | Intellectual Property, Trademark

Recently, a new undergarment company specializing in clothing accessories like bras, corsets, lingerie, shapewear, and underwear filed a trademark application. But a seemingly unlikely adversary has risen up to fight back against that application: legendary heavy metal band, Iron Maiden.

Why is a heavy metal band battling an undergarment company?

All in the Name… And Some Other Things

Iron Maiden’s legal representatives have listed two reasons why they believe the clothing brand’s trademark constitutes infringement.

The first, and most obvious, is the name. The company in question is called Maiden Wear, and the band’s lawyers are arguing that their fans might think that Iron Maiden is responsible for the clothing line. 

In a filing, their representatives said that “the dominant term in applicant’s Maiden Wear mark is Maiden and therefore the mark is confusingly similar in appearance and connotation to opposer’s Iron Maiden mark.”

There is more, though. Apparently, Iron Maiden also has its own clothing line. While they do not seem to make the same types of items, Iron Maiden’s trademark registration in Class 25 covers “T-shirts, tank tops, long sleeve shirts, shorts, jerseys, sweatshirts, sweatpants, pants, jackets, hats, leather wrist bands, scarves and shoes.”

Essentially, the argument here is that two businesses with the name “Maiden” both making clothes will cause consumer confusion – and that the band will be damaged by such confusion.

Can Maiden Wear and Iron Maiden Coexist?

Would consumers really be confused between Iron Maiden branded clothing and Maiden Wear undergarments?

While at first the argument may appear a bit specious, the overlap between the two audiences does seem possible. And when you pair the similarity between the names with the fact that each is involved in clothing, the argument does gain strength. Consumer confusion could occur. 

The real question, however, will be if the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board feel that way. A peek at the history of oppositions filed by the Iron Maiden revealed that another company attempted to register the word Maiden in Class 25 for clothing in 2008.  The Iron Maiden band filed an opposition and settlement was reached in 2011.  Ultimately, the other company never obtained a registration for the mark Maiden in Class 25.  So maybe history will repeat itself.  A trademark clearance search might have revealed this history.  Stay tuned – we will let you know how the whole thing plays out.


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