Chanel, France’s favourite luxury brand, is giving Louis Vuitton a run for its money in its over-zealous attempts to protect its trademark!
An Australian chocolatier has been forced to change the logo of her chocolate brand after receiving threat from Chanel. Alison Peck, owner of the chocolate brand Chocolate @ No 5, was contacted by lawyers from Chanel when she attempted to register a trademark for her logo. Ms Peck had bought the chocolate shop, which already had its name and logo, in March 2010. The name Chocolate @ No.5 comes from the business’ address, which is 5 Mount Barker Road.
Chanel claimed that Ms Peck’s logo was too similar to that of its popular perfume Chanel No.5. Peck, concerned about the cost it would take to fight a global corporation, has agreed to change her logo.
“The demands I felt they were making amounted to “bullying”, they were far beyond what they were legally entitled to,” Peck told the ABC on Thursday. “So even in a chocolate class, if they wanted to register Chocolate No.5, I wasn’t allowed to oppose that at all,” she said. “I don’t know how you can confuse chocolate and perfume but they think that it can be done. I’ve (now) updated it and actually I’m a lot happier with it,” she continued. “I thought rather than suffer a long drawn-out legal battle, which I can’t afford financially, I’d just rather sort it out and do it.”
Peck is reportedly out of pocket by more than $5000 from the failed trademark registration and costs of changing logos. Her shop will also need to change its sign.
It’s not the first time Chanel have gone after a small business for trademark infringement. Last year the brand sued an Indiana beauty salon owner for trademark infringement. The lawsuit claimed that ‘Chanel’s Salon’ infringed on its registered trademark and was benefiting from the Chanel name. This, it claimed, could fool customers into thinking the salon is somehow connected to the luxury brand. The owner of the salon, Ms Chanel Jones, reportedly ignored several cease and desist letters and continued to operate the salon under the infringing name. Although Chanel acknowledged the fact that the defendant’s name was Chanel in the lawsuit, it argued that she didn’t have a right to market her name at the expense of the company’s trademark!