To put it simplistically, the application is examined to ensure it meets formal requirements, and to make sure that the mark meets more substantive requirements: the major ones are that it can’t be confusing with an existing registered trademark or pending application and that it can’t be too descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive (being merely suggestive is okay, but you shouldn’t be allowed to claim exclusive rights over a common descriptor used in the industry). If the trademark meets this scrutiny, then it’s advertised (published in the trademark office’s journal) and parties with an objection have a limited window within which to oppose the application. (Standing to oppose an application is defined more broadly in Canada than in the United States, but in either country it involves the payment of money, so one typically isn’t inclined to oppose unless one has a commercial interest.) If no opposition is filed, then the trademark is allowed and is registered upon payment of further fees. To actually be registered, the trademark has to be in use, and specimens (not necessarily the actual products themselves) need to be filed to show that the trademark as applied for is being used.
And in other news, this link should work. But in case it doesn’t, it’s a press release announcing the Lily Chin Signature collection, dated June 11.
The six yarns in the premiere collection are named after Chin’s favorite neighborhoods in her native Manhattan: Tribeca, a mohair blend; Chelsea, a unique blend of merino wool, cotton, and acrylic; Nolita, a fun dusting of eyelash; Central Park, a wool blend boucle with a touch of stretch (Lycra); Gramercy, a super wash merino wool with a special twist; Greenwich Village, a mohair yarn with a twist of a lustrous stand of rayon.
Chelsea and Central Park sound like they could be interesting. Central Park sounds like… why, it sounds like it might be an alternative to Adrienne Vittadini Maria, a wool/acrylic/Lycra boucle blend that I always liked very much, but came in a rather limited colour range. Speaking of American designers, the press release also says this:
Chin’s debut marks the first time an American knitwear designer has created a line of fashion yarns under her own name. The highly anticipated collection will be available in yarn and needlework shops in the U.S. and Canada in August 2005.
I suppose that Vittadini doesn’t count as an American knitwear designer, because she’s a clothing and accessories designer, and she developed her name in Europe, I believe.
Edit: The LC website has been updated, so now you can see the yarn for yourself. That Central Park is no substitute for Maria. It also appears that generally speaking, LC’s colour palette and mine don’t really agree.