Both cases underscore the legal intricacies of branding in the fast-growing Chinese market.
The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court agreed with the ruling of State Administration for Industry & Commerce’s Trademark Appeal Board that a Wenzhou garment maker could register its application to trademark the words of the Scotch whiskey maker on clothing, shoes and hats, noting that the brand was used on different products than whiskey. The court said that Chivas Bros. hadn’t successfully made its brand name “well-known” in China as of 2003, when the Chinese clothing company first applied for a trademark.
A spokesman for Chivas Bros., owned by the French company Pernod Ricard, said, “The name Chivas (both in English and Chinese characters) and Chivas Regal (in English) were recognized in 2009 by the Chinese Trademarks Office (CTMO) as well-known trademarks in China. Third parties may not use or register Chivas (in English or Chinese) or Chivas Regal (in English) or any similar words for any goods — not only spirits — where such use may cause confusion in China.”
Hermès failed in its attempt to register a Chinese version of its name, Ai Ma Shi in pinyin, because a Chinese firm, the Dafeng Garment Co. of Guangdong, had already done so. Chinese speakers refer to Hermès with that name and the French brand had argued that was enough to allow it to register the name, but the trademark board disagreed.
Dan Harris, a Seattle-based intellectual property lawyer, told WWD late last month that he didn’t see any significant impact on luxury brands from the Hermès decision. However, the Chivas Regal case is now the second time within a month that a major Western brand has lost in its attempt to protect its trademark.
“This is really quite similar” to the recent Hermès case, said Beijing intellectual property lawyer Stan Abrams, who said he assumes the whiskey maker just wasn’t able to prove that consumers were familiar enough with the brand.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)