A website that used to be called CosbySweaters.com is now known as Next Impulse Sports. Quite a change, from sweaters to sports — so, why the name change? A cease-and-desist letter from comedian Bill Cosby’s attorneys persuaded Cosby Sweaters website co-founder Kiley Kmiec, to make the switch.
Kmiec’s website isn’t even about sweaters, it’s aimed at sports fans with an interest in pop culture. In a blog post to his readers, Kmiec said: “We think we could fight this case in court. Unfortunately though, we don’t have the millions of Puddin’ Pops™ to mount what could be a long and costly legal fight. The bottom line is this: It got hot and we have ditched the Cosby Sweaters name. We’ve got bigger and better match-ups to focus on.”
Cosby owns the trademark registration for his name, but does he own a trademark for “Cosby sweaters”? The answer to that is “No. No one does.” (CosbySweaters.com claims it tried to register the phrase when the site first launched, but were refused.) But as the cease-and-desist letter stated, “…the multi-colored, multi-patterned sweaters that Mr. Cosby wore on ‘The Cosby Show,’ … are strongly associated with Cosby. The term “Cosby Sweater” instantly evokes Mr. Cosby and The Cosby Show.”
Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable, wore the now iconic sweaters on the TV series ‘The Cosby Show’, which ran from 1984-1992. If you’re not familiar with the colorfully patterned sweaters, you can check out 26 of them on Cosby’s own website. Last December, the site began running a poll to find out which one people liked best. The design of many of the sweaters is attributed to Dutch fashion designer Koos van den Akker, known for his collage work. You can read a wonderfully detailed history of the Cosby sweaters on Collectors Weekly.
According to Gawker’s post on the recent website dispute, there some others currently using the Cosby name, including a Tumblr called The Cosby Sweater Project and a West Coast band called Cosby Sweater, among others. We also found a Cosby Sweater Bar Crawl that’s been held in the Baltimore area the past two years and an improv team called The Cosby Sweaters.
While you’re pondering whether there’s a likelihood of confusion amongst the projects listed above, let’s turn our thoughts sweater-ward. What would the ultimate Cosby sweater look like? Thanks to Gawker, we know: a Cosby sweater showing Bill Cosby wearing a Cosby sweater that incorporates a picture of Bill Cosby. Enjoy!