“Ugly Christmas Sweaters” – Trademarked

Hi everyone,

On my bus ride to school this morning, I read a pretty cool news article published by CBC about ugly Christmas sweaters!

I thought it was a timeless tradition, but apparently it actually began in 2002 at a Coquitlam house party.

More directly relevant to our course is the fact that Birch and Boyd, the co-founders of this tradition, owns the Canadian trademarks to the phrase “Ugly Christmas Sweater”.

Depending on how far ahead you are in reviewing your IP law notes, you may recall that section 12(1)(b) of the Trademark Act states that a trademark is registrable if it is not “clearly descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive in English or French of the character/quality of wares/services”.

“Ugly Christmas Sweater” appears to be rather descriptive to me!

3 responses to ““Ugly Christmas Sweaters” – Trademarked”

  1. Tae Young

    I took a look at the Canadian Trademark Registry, and the trademark was registered in relation to both goods and services. If a judge deems the clothing sold under the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” to indeed be “ugly”, I think there might be an interesting discussion as to whether the trademark, at least in relation to goods/wares, should be expunged!


  2. Jon Festinger

    Pretty descriptive, isn’t it?

  3. Tae Young

    I certainly think so!