Madonna might be living in a material world, however, her claim to the trademark “Material Girl’’ will not materialize.
In 1984, Madonna released one of her most famous hits, called Material Girl. Although Madonna holds the copyright to the song, she never filed a trademark for the title. Apparel manufacturer L.A. Triumph filed the trademark “Material Girl’’ in 1997 for her clothing line.
In fall of 2010, Madonna released her own clothing line under the name of “Material Girl”. Shortly after, she was faced with a law suit by L.A. Triumph. L.A. Triumph expects the judge will rule that Madonna’s new “tween line” creates confusion among consumers. In response, Camp Madonna tried to counter the claim by providing evidence that she created the song in 1984 and has been using commercially ever since.
The judge however, was not swayed: “Defendants' argument that Madonna created the 'Material Girl' mark through her performances fails as a matter of law," the judge writes in an order denying summary judgment. "This Court and other courts have recognized that the singing of a song does not create a trademark." It is expected that Madonna will file a counterclaim soon on the basis of her reputation.