Chanel is suing an Indiana salon owner for trademark infringement. According to a lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, ‘Chanel’s Salon’ is infringing on its registered trademark and benefiting from the Chanel name. This could fool customers into thinking the salon is somehow connected to the luxury brand.
The owner of the salon, Ms Chanel Jones, has reportedly ignored several cease and desist letters and continues to operate the salon under the infringing name . Although Chanel acknowledge the fact that the defendant’s name is Chanel in the lawsuit, it argues that she doesn’t have a right to market her name at the expense of the company’s trademark. The company stress on the point that she only uses her first name in the branding of her business.
While it may seem unfair that Chanel is denied use of her own name, its not unusual in the fashion industry. Back in 2012, a judge ruled that Guccio Gucci and Alessandro Gucci, the great-grandsons of the Gucci founder, could not sell handbags and accessories under the name Guccio Gucci because it determined an unfair association between their products and Gucci’s trademarks. The court ruled that it ”constitutes an act of unfair competition to Gucci’s detriment because the advertising materials of the defendant caused confusion with Gucci’s products and business activities and took unfair advantage of the qualities and reputation of Gucci’s products”.
We’d hazard a guess this one gets nowhere near a court and ‘Chanel’s Salon’ will be reopening as ‘Chanel Jones’ Salon’ in the near future!