The U.S. Polo Association Cannot Use Polo Player and Horse to Sell Cheap Cologne

I know that you woke up this morning wanting to read about another sports lawsuit. But at least this one involves horses, cologne, and a famous fashion designer. Yesterday, a federal judge in New York found in favor of Ralph Lauren against the United States Polo Association in a trademark infringement suit. My first reaction was “wait, this is outrageous, the sport of polo can’t use a picture of a polo player?”

But then my second reaction after reading the article was to eat a delicious snack, and re-examine my life about getting upset over polo. Then my third reaction was to ask, “why is the U.S. Polo Association trying to sell cologne in the first place?” That has to be just as outrageous as not being able to use a polo player on a label. Am I going to really take sides in the battle of billionaire horse owners versus the outfitter for millionaire members of the brat pack who used to pop the collar on their polos?

So ultimately, my indignation quickly turned to not caring, and realizing the judge was probably right. They can use their horse and rider symbol on other things, all the polo-y type things that their heart desires, whatever those things may be. But when it comes to cologne, I think that symbol does represent a brand from Ralph Lauren, and if the U.S. Polo Association wants to try to make some money by selling their own lesser known cologne while relying on brand confusion, sorry.

In the end, I don’t care who puts a polo player on the cologne, anyway, because I’m not buying either. I’ll stick with Doug Flutie and my English Leather.

[photo via Getty]

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