A & F Wages a Fierce Fragrance Fight: The Battle Over Dollars & Scents


Abercrombie & Fitch has taken quick action to protect its signature fragrance "Fierce" against pop diva, Beyonce Knowles' proposed naming of her forthcoming perfume by Coty, Inc. after her alter ego, "Sasha Fierce". According to the complaint for trademark infringement filed by A & F on September 19, 2009, A & F has held a registered trademark for the mark "Fierce" for fragrances since May 2003, and "Fierce" is the scent wafting from all A & F stores as it is dispersed either though a scent machine or by constant spraying of the cologne by A & F employees. The goal being that every A & F garment is infused by the citrus scent.

In the United States, scent does not garner intellectual property protection and creators are forced to rely on trademark or tradedress to protect their perfumes and colognes. Hence, companies spend much of their marketing money on the name and image of their perfumes while the actual smell is secondary.

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