Picture credit: Indigital
CHANEL has filed an infringement lawsuit against an Indiana hair and beauty salon for allegedly copying its trademark. The salon in question? Chanel's Salon.
However, while it may seem like a striaghtforward case of copycat, the salon is actually named after its owner, Chanel Jones, which could potentially thwart the French fashion house's claims that Jones is adversely benefitting from its established and prestigious reputation.
'One of the concerns is a reluctance to forbid a person to use his own name in his own business,' said Peacable Planet, Inc. v. Ty. Inc, according to The Fashion Law. 'Supposing a man named Brooks opened a clothing store under his name, should this prevent a second Brooks from opening a clothing store under his own (identical) name even though consumers did not yet associate the name with the first Brooks's store? It should not.'
What may differ in this case is that Chanel is such a well-known name around the world, that it would be hard to not associate a premises of the same name with the luxury and glamour of Karl Lagerfeld's creations.
'As recently as May 2014, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the [USPTO] held that the Chanel mark 'enjoys widespread recognition among the general public and is a household name synonymous with high fashion and style and is therefore famous for dilution purposes,'' states Chanel's complaint.
While not a clear-cut case, Chanel has previously won similar infringement cases. In early 2014, it received close to $4.8 million in damages after pursuing a designer producing replica handbags in Purse Valley.