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'Bunny Hug' trademarked by Sask. vendor

Saskatchewan has its fair share of slang, and one phrase synonymous with our province: Bunny Hug. While this term is common phrase to most Saskatchewanians, it is apparently still fair game to be trademarked.

Janelle Anderson is very familiar with the term “Bunnyhug” as the owner of a Handmade Saskatchewan, a business that sells merchandise specific to the province.

For those outside of Saskatchewan a bunny hug is referred to as a hoodie.

The store has a whole wall dedicated to the product.

“It’s nice because we like to think of it like we own the official Saskatchewan bunnyhug,” Anderson said. “Now we own the bunnyhug that has the two bunnies on it and everyone is very familiar with it.”

FLAT Clothing owns the rights to their specific bunnyhug design.

Their design is rather literal – showing two bunnies hugging.

But the name “bunny hug” has actually been a registered trademark as of 2019, after Homage Inc. filed the paperwork in 2017.

“In theory, a trademark registration is quite powerful,” Reagan Seidler, a trademark lawyer, explained. “A person who infringes a registered trademark can be forced to give up all of their profits and destroy all of their merchandise of any clothing that uses that word…in theory.”

While the trademark is currently registered, Saskatchewan businesses that are currently selling the sweaters don’t have cause for alarm at the moment.

“A trademark is only enforceable if it is distinctive,” Seidler said. “Meaning that only one company makes products under that name. If there are lots of companies in the market who are selling similar products and nothing has been done to stop that, or if they weren’t the first ones to start using it, that trademark is not enforceable.”

A detail to note is that the trademarked phrase has “Bunny Hug” spelled as two separate words.

There is still no trademark for “Bunnyhug” as a single word.

“It’s such a common phrase, that’s what we call them here,” Anderson said. “It’s like you can’t trademark the word hoodie (that’s what it’s called to us in Saskatchewan) so we also can’t trademark the name. We can trademark the design, but not the name,” said Anderson.

The registered location of Homage Inc. is a residential address in Regina.

Nobody was home when CTV News stopped by for a comment. Top Stories

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