NEW YORK — Rather than give in to what the company describes as “a trademark squatter” in China, 3.1 Phillip Lim has gone on the offensive, introducing a dedicated brand mark for any ready-to-wear and footwear sold there.

This story first appeared in the June 18, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The spherical insignia was created as part of the company’s redesigned logo, which was unveiled in the spring ad campaign. Starting with pre-fall 2013, the designer’s rtw and footwear sold in China will be labeled with the newly created brand mark. All other products sold internationally will carry the brand mark with the 3.1 Phillip Lim signature.

The designers’s legal team has taken action against the individual who owns the 3.1 Phillip Lim trademark in China for rtw and footwear. A company spokeswoman declined to identify that party Monday, due to “legal reasons as it may inflate the situation since we are still in legal proceedings.” The party in question purchased the rights in 2007, she said.

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She also chose not to discuss how much money that individual is asking from the company for those trademarks. The 3.1 Phillip Lim logo owned in China can be used on retail stores, e-commerce, in-store fixtures and accessories. As of 2005, 3.1 Phillip Lim has had a presence in China via the designer’s own company.

From pre-fall on, all goods that will be sold with the brand mark are trademarked items designed by the company’s namesake, who is creative director for the house.

As for what made the company be proactive about this incident rather than give in and pay what is being asked, the spokeswoman said it came down to a matter of principle. “The brand bears our creative director’s name, and we have been operating globally since 2005 under this name,” she said.

This is the first time that 3.1 Phillip Lim has faced this sort of situation, the spokeswoman said. “We will assess any future issues as they arise,” she said.

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