A Chicago-based barbershop’s not so subtle references to AMC’s Mad Men has caused it to run into some trademark problems with the show’s producer and distributor.
Since 2015, and not coincidentally after the airing of the show, a Chicago barbershop started using the name “Madmen Barbershop.” The classic Don Draper fedora in the logo leaves little doubt to the inspiration of the barbershop’s name. All was fun and games, until the barbershop popped up on the radar of the show’s producers. In June 2016, Madmen Barbershop, Inc. filed for the trademark registration that can be seen above (minus the real Don Draper, of course). No surprisingly, the show’s producers started pulling out their own hair over the mark.
Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc. was the company behind the AMC hit television show that ran from July 2007 until May 2015. The show consisted of 92 episodes and won 16 Emmys and 5 Golden Globes. The fame of the television show and the MAD MEN is unquestionable. Last week, Lions Gate opposed the barbershop’s trademark claiming that there is a high chance of likelihood of confusion. Meaning consumers, when they saw the barbershop’s logo, would be confused to think the barbershop and its trademark are owned, associated with or endorsed by Lions Gate and its Mad Men series.
Seems like a clean-cut case but since Lions Gate doesn’t operate anything that is even close to a barbershop, the clipper may argue that confusion is not likely. I would expect a hasty settlement where the barbershop walks away from the registration but is allowed to still use the name. The barbershop could also face legal action from Lions Gate so best to take a close shave on this registration and move on.