Posted by Stephen Welfare, Partner
Fashion in courts: Chanel defends its intellectual property
In the fast-moving world of intellectual property and trade marks, it is vital to defend your brand as actively as you can. And you don’t have to be an international powerhouse like Chanel to do it.
Last month, leading fashion house Chanel secured another win at court in the course of its ferocious protection of its trade marks and intellectual property.
The famous logo
The European Court has ruled in favour of Chanel, finding that a community registered design for two interlocking S shapes was not sufficiently different to the iconic interlocking Cs – Chanel’s famous logo.
The Court may have been influenced by Chanel’s fame as the Judgment notes that the contested design was to some extent inspired by the idea of the Chanel monogram. The opinion of the Court was that the interlocking S design did not create a different overall impression to that of the Chanel design.
This European win for Chanel follows on from its success earlier this summer in California, USA, where Chanel successfully sued a number of Amazon sellers in a multi-million dollar counterfeit case. Chanel was unofficially reported to have been awarded $3,000,000 in damages, but it remains to be seen if the money is ever paid!
A clear warning
Recovery of monies or not, the continued prosecution of counterfeit vendors and the contesting of any marks or designs considered a threat to Chanel should act as a clear warning to any would-be copyists or any business sailing too close to the Chanel brand.
Our jewellery sector expertise
As IP legal partners to the National Association of Jewellers, we provide advice to all members of the NAJ and are a contributor to The Jeweller Magazine and the NAJ website. Our intellectual property and commercial lawyers regularly attend the main exhibitions such as the Spring Fair in Birmingham or International Jewellery in London, where we provide on-the-spot immediate advice to exhibitors and visitors who are concerned about design and copyright infringements.
As a brand in an increasingly congested market, it always pays to protect your designs and brand identity. If you have any questions about intellectual property law, contact Stephen Welfare and he will be happy to assist.
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