Anyone on social media probably saw advertisements and pictures of mermaid tail blankets the last two years, especially throughout the holiday seasons. Built like a sleeping bag, but colorfully designed and shaped like a tailfin, the blankets became a sensation on the internet and in people’s homes. Hattie Peze, founder and owner of Blankie Tails, created a business worth millions of dollars within six months, according to The Fashion Law. However, now Peze faces competition from bandwagoning companies that are capitalizing on the trend. She has initiated multiple actions against different sellers in a fight to be the top on the market.
The Fashion Law writes that one legal battle has waged between Peze’s Blankie Tails and Allstar Marketing Group LLC’s version of the mermaid blanket, Snuggie Tails. The dispute centered on the trademarking of the names. Allstar registered to trademark “Snuggie Tails” and Peze filed opposition based on the similarity of the trademark to hers. Allstar then filed saying that the two brand names will not be confused, and that Peze’s trademark is descriptive, rather than a name. Trademark law says that the trademark cannot be simply a description of the product. Blankie Tales next filed a lawsuit against Allstar. However, the two companies may have made a settlement, because Blankie Tales is dismissing the lawsuit.
In addition to their mutual legal battle, Blankie Tales and Allstar have both taken action against other companies producing alleged counterfeits or too-similar products.
The product idea that spawned Blankie Tales, according to The Fashion Law, was not even Peze’s original idea. Instead, she saw a blanket shaped like a mermaid fin on social media, and decided to produce them when she discovered that there weren’t manufactured ones on the market. Blankie Tales has since enjoyed a wide popularity (even Miley Cyrus is a fan) and high social media attention, to which Peze attributes some of the company’s success. Coverage by People, Buzzfeed, Fox & Friends, and the Chicago Tribune, among others, helped the trend to explode.