LOGO LOCK: Chanel on Tuesday scored a victory in its fight to protect its trademark double-C logo.
The European Union’s General Court invalidated a decision by the board of appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office, or EUIPO, in a case pitting the French luxury firm against Li Jing Zhou, a resident of Spain, and Golden Rose 999 Srl, a company established in Rome.
In 2010, Zhou registered a symbol consisting of two interlocking S shapes, which Chanel sought to have canceled on the grounds that it strongly resembled its monogram, which has been a registered trademark in France since 1989. The EUIPO’s board in 2014 rejected its request for a revocation.
But the Luxembourg-based General Court estimated that the two drawings had “remarkable similarities,” adding that Zhou’s design could be perceived as a creation inspired by the idea of the Chanel monogram, which could potentially create confusion in the minds of consumers.
The Luxembourg court annulled the EUIPO’s decision but rejected Chanel’s request to have the contested trademark declared invalid, saying this was not within the realm of its competencies. The EUIPO has been ordered to pay costs in the case.
Last month, Chanel won a multimillion-dollar trademark infringement lawsuit against more than two dozen Amazon sellers allegedly peddling knock-off goods.
A California federal judge sided with the luxury house in entering a default judgment against about 30 sellers of counterfeit Chanel-logoed products that had been operating through Amazon.com.
The luxury house fiercely guards every aspect of its image, regularly running ads in WWD putting “fashion editors, advertisers, copywriters and other well-intentioned misusers of our Chanel name” on guard against referring to any items produced by third parties as “Chanel-issime, Chanel-ed, Chanels and Chanel-ized” or variants thereof.