KINGSTON, NY — AmeriBag, Inc., a leader in the travel and handbag industry, has received a rare approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office of a trademark registration for the shape of its Healthy Back Bag® tote. The HBB, as it is affectionately called, is a kidney shaped bag that has become known for its unique configuration.
AmeriBag, founded by Margery and Irwin Gaffin, was awarded a design patent on the Healthy Back Bag® tote in 1995. However, it was felt that a registered trademark for the distinctive configuration of the bag would give additional protection to the product, of which millions have been sold. “We have been involved in too much patent protection litigation over the years,” states Irwin Gaffin, co-founder and CEO of AmeriBag. “This trademark registration is very important. It will safeguard us from unauthorized imitators.” Gaffin goes on to explain that in the past, numerous companies have attempted to duplicate the bag.
AmeriBag attorney Roger Thompson of Cohen, Pontani, Lieberman & Pavane in New York states that the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) rarely issues trademark registrations for product configurations. He states that “…it is gratifying to see the Healthy Back Bag® configuration receive recognition for its innovative profile.”
To successfully be awarded this registered trademark, AmeriBag embarked upon a lengthy process that began in July 2003. The company was asked by the PTO to provide documentation of AmeriBag’s promotion of the Healthy Back Bag®’s unique shape.
Lynne Beresford, commissioner of trademarks at the U.S Patent and Trademark Office remarks that evidence of advertising was requested because of the uniqueness of the request. “You don’t normally think of shapes as a source indicator,” she states. She goes on to explain that most people don’t associate a particular shape with a specific product. For example, a soda bottle is nondescript, however, a Coca-Cola bottle is clearly associated with the Coca-Cola brand. ‘ “This should be a strong warning to any company that attempts to illegally copy our product.” states Gaffin. “We have worked hard to develop a unique quality product, and we will protect our innovative property.”
AmeriBag, Inc., located in Kingston, NY, has extensive distribution inside the U.S, as well as internationally. Product can be found in retail stores as well as catalogs throughout the country such as L.L. Bean and Travel Smith. For more information on the Healthy Back Bag® tote or other AmeriBag® products, please visit www.ameribag.com
AmeriBag, Inc. was formed in 1987 and the Healthy Back Bag® tote was issued US Patent # D363599 in 1995. The shape of the Healthy Back Bag® tote is a registered trademark of AmeriBag, Inc. Developed with the help of a doctor, the Healthy Back Bag® tote was designed to reduce apparent stress on the neck, shoulders and back – improving posture and making the weight of the bag feel lighter. The unique shape and organizational design concepts have revolutionized the industry and have given way to other AmeriBag styles and products. Core values of the privately owned company, based in Kingston NY, are reflected in the uncompromising union of style, functionality, value and quality of product.
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