Trademarking Flight Suits?

  • Jul 25, 2014 8:25am GMT

A topic of debate came into question during a lawsuit between two companies, Can you trademark a flight suit?

If it walks like a pilot and talks like one...Whether former military pilots can dress like pilots and talk like pilots in public appearances are issues at the heart of a trademark dispute between two rival motivational speaking companies run by former fighter pilots.

The case is between Afterburner Inc. and The Corps Group, went head to head over this topic.

Both companies have similar goals and practices. They use former pilots as presenters for corporate training workshops and team-building events. All of the lingo from their speakers wear flight suits and use similar presentations from their military days.

The Forsyth County, Georgia, Superior Court ruled in favor of Afterburner, which brought the suit claiming its business model was stolen by The Corps Group. Chief Judge Jeffrey Bagley cited The Corps Group for infringement on trademarks held by Afterburner and fined the The Corps Group $473,189 for damages.

The protected trademarks, the court said, give Afterburner exclusive rights to the use of specific pilot language, imagery and the wear of flight suits during public speaking.

For more on this intriguing story got to Air Force Times. Photo by (Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Jeffers/Air Force)