A federal judge in California has rejected Madonna's claim that she has established trademark primacy over the "Material Girl" name for a line of clothing because she had a hit with a song with that title back in 1985. The singer and her Material Girl brand are in the middle of a legal battle with LA Triumph, a Los Angeles clothing retailer that has been selling "Material Girl" apparel since 1997 and has registered the name as a trademark.
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"Defendants' argument that Madonna created the 'Material Girl' mark through her performances fails as a matter of law," Judge S. James Otero wrote in an order denying summary judgment. "This Court and other courts have recognized that the singing of a song does not create a trademark." The judge also shot down the singer's argument that selling $85 million worth of merchandise related to the song "Material Girl" since 1985 is not enough to establish a "senior trademark user" designation.