Ringo Starr Drops Trademark Challenge Against 'Ring O' Sex Toy

from the missed-opportunities dept

First, an apology. I tend to cover much of our trademark beat here at Techdirt. And regular readers here will know that my sense of humor trends towards the juvenile and vulgar. It is with a solemn and heartfelt apology, therefore, that I must report to you all that I somehow missed that there was a trademark fight between famed drummer Ringo Starr and Pacific Coast Holdings IP, LLC, makers of a Ring O — wait for it — sex toy. I really should have caught this, but missed it.

The background on this is that Starr’s legal team opposed the “Ring O” trademark Pacific Coast Holdings applied for, claiming that the public would be confused into believing that Starr was now somehow in the sex toys business.

Documents filed by his lawyers in 2019 said: “Consumers will likely believe that Opposer’s [Starr’s] newest venture is sex toys – and this is an association that Opposer does not want.”

It must certainly be true that Starr did not want this name on a sex toy. He may have even believed people would think he was somehow associated with sex toys as a result. But his legal team very much should have explained to him that a product name like this doesn’t actually constitute trademark infringement, given that there was no other association made with the drummer and that they don’t compete with one another in commerce.

While that apparently wasn’t done up front, this is all now once again in the news because Starr and Pacific Coast Holdings have entered into a co-existance agreement, part of which includes Starr dropping his opposition.

Now, according to the settlement, Pacific Holdings and Momentum Management have agreed to “avoid any activity likely to lead to confusion” between their product and the musician.

The deal says the companies can only use the name for adult sex aids and desensitising sprays, and must have a space between the “Ring” and the “O”.

The companies have pledged not to “degrade, tarnish or deprecate or disparage” Starr’s name or image. They also said they wouldn’t make any reference or innuendo associating the product with Starr, or give the impression that he’s associated with it.

In other words, the company will continue to use the name as it had been, but now stipulate that it won’t in the future make any other reference to Ringo Starr. If that’s a win, it is certainly a meager one.

It sure would be nice, however, if the famous didn’t walk through life with IP rabbit ears attempting to pick up any real or imagined reference to themselves, just waiting to pounce over intellectual property concerns that don’t actually exist.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: pacific coast holdings

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Ringo Starr Drops Trademark Challenge Against 'Ring O' Sex Toy”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
15 Comments
That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Use our new Apple flavored Ring O spray and give her a rimshot.

Our new Mango flavored Ring O spray will make her pound on your batter head.

Crash her like a Ziljan with Ring O all night long spray.

Give her more cowbell with Ring O engorgement cockring.

Double your pleasure double your fun with Ring O double bass pedal, big booms in both ends.

Yeah I know, trying to hard.
Not sorry.

Lostinlodossays:

Part of me wants to jab at the 230 ?association? argument always thrown around but, I?ll skip that now that I did it anyway.

Looks like a good, healthy, viable, agreement.
Puns intended.

Maybe now both can move on to fulfilling the dreams further.

not sure the lawsuit is of any worth, unless the product was RingO or Ringo, or Ring0!

ryuugamisays:

The companies have pledged not to "degrade, tarnish or deprecate or disparage" Starr’s name or image. They also said they wouldn’t make any reference or innuendo associating the product with Starr, or give the impression that he’s associated with it.

I can already see the new packaging: "Definitely not associated with or endorsed by Ringo Starr".

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Report this ad??|??Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
12:25 Australian Privacy Commissioner Says 7-Eleven Broke Privacy Laws By Scanning Customers' Faces At Survey Kiosks (6)
10:50 Missouri Governor Doubles Down On 'View Source' Hacking Claim; PAC Now Fundraising Over This Bizarrely Stupid Claim (45)
10:45 Daily Deal: The All-in-One Microsoft, Cybersecurity, And Python Exam Prep Training Bundle (0)
09:43 Want To Understand Why U.S. Broadband Sucks? Look At Frontier Communications In Wisconsin, West Virginia (8)
05:36 Massachusetts College Decides Criticizing The Chinese Government Is Hate Speech, Suspends Conservative Student Group (71)
19:57 Le Tigre Sues Barry Mann To Stop Copyright Threats Over Song, Lights Barry Mann On Fire As Well (21)
16:07 Court Says City Of Baltimore's 'Heckler's Veto' Of An Anti-Catholic Rally Violates The First Amendment (15)
13:37 Two Years Later, Judge Finally Realizes That A CDN Provider Is Not Liable For Copyright Infringement On Websites (21)
12:19 Chicago Court Gets Its Prior Restraint On, Tells Police Union Head To STFU About City's Vaccine Mandate (158)
10:55 Verizon 'Visible' Wireless Accounts Hacked, Exploited To Buy New iPhones (8)
10:50 Daily Deal: The MacOS 11 Course (0)
07:55 Suing Social Media Sites Over Acts Of Terrorism Continues To Be A Losing Bet, As 11th Circuit Dumps Another Flawed Lawsuit (11)
02:51 Trump Announces His Own Social Network, 'Truth Social,' Which Says It Can Kick Off Users For Any Reason (And Already Is) (100)
19:51 Facebook AI Moderation Continues To Suck Because Moderation At Scale Is Impossible (26)
16:12 Content Moderation Case Studies: Snapchat Disables GIPHY Integration After Racist 'Sticker' Is Discovered (2018) (11)
13:54 Arlo Makes Live Customer Service A Luxury Option (8)
12:05 Delta Proudly Announces Its Participation In The DHS's Expanded Biometric Collection Program (5)
11:03 LinkedIn (Mostly) Exits China, Citing Escalating Demands For Censorship (14)
10:57 Daily Deal: The Python, Git, And YAML Bundle (0)
09:37 British Telecom Wants Netflix To Pay A Tax Simply Because Squid Game Is Popular (32)
06:41 Report: Client-Side Scanning Is An Insecure Nightmare Just Waiting To Be Exploited By Governments (35)
20:38 MLB In Talks To Offer Streaming For All Teams' Home Games In-Market Even Without A Cable Subscription (10)
15:55 Appeals Court Says Couple's Lawsuit Over Bogus Vehicle Forfeiture Can Continue (15)
13:30 Techdirt Podcast Episode 301: Scarcity, Abundance & NFTs (0)
12:03 Hollywood Is Betting On Filtering Mandates, But Working Copyright Algorithms Simply Don't Exist (66)
10:45 Introducing The Techdirt Insider Discord (4)
10:40 Daily Deal: The Dynamic 2021 DevOps Training Bundle (0)
09:29 Criminalizing Teens' Google Searches Is Just How The UK's Anti-Cybercrime Programs Roll (19)
06:29 Canon Sued For Disabling Printer Scanners When Devices Run Out Of Ink (41)
20:51 Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa (7)
More arrow