Who the fuck is Channel

In order to gain attention for your products with the general public it can be very attractive to align your products with the reputation of an existing trademark. However, if this is done too explicitly it can lead to problems. Fashion designer CHANEL (established in 1909 by Coco Chanel) has been doing well on the market since the arrival of Karl Lagerfeld. In order to protect their trademarks well (and act against counterfeit) both the word CHANEL and the logo (two mirrored Cs) have been registered as trademarks.

When Glamorous introduces T-shirts on the markted, Chanel immediately goes to court. The court is very clear in its verdict. Chanel is a famous fashion brand and enjoys a wide scope of protection. Images of Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld will align Glamorous with Chanel. Furthermore, the word CHANNEL (used in “who the fuck is Channel”) is visually and conceptually highly similar with CHANEL. Glamorous clearly wishes to take advantage of Chanel’s reputation and ride the coattail of the well know trademark. By using the text in the way it was done, serious damage to the reputation of CHANEL could occur.

Glamorous is prohibited to continue this infringing act. Furthermore, any profit made by use of this ad must immediately be transferred to Chanel. Any clothing remaining must immediately be destroyed and the legal expenses Chanel made reimbursed (a small E. 15,000). Aligning yourself with the market leader van be lucrative, but always check if there is no infringement in doing so.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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