In fashion-related trademark news, Chanel lost a bid to trademark the name “Jersey” for one of its fragrances. In case you’re wondering how and why the French couture company would choose a name synonymous with an American TV reality show (‘The Jersey Shore’), you may be relieved to know that it refers to the knit fabric known as “jersey.”
The UK Intellectual Property Office has refused Chanel’s trademark application for “Jersey” after the Island of Jersey’s Economic Development Department opposed it.
Chanel released Jersey, the fragrance, in 2011. In the trademark hearing, a Chanel representative argued that many of the company’s fragrances have been named after concepts that share a close association with the company founder, Coco Chanel. Chanel was responsible for introducing jersey fabric into the world of high fashion in 1916, when it had previously been used exclusively for women’s underwear. Martin Hamilton, Chanel’s Company Secretary, said: “The consumer will readily associate Chanel’s reputation for the jersey fabric in connection with its clothing ranges with Chanel’s use of the ‘Jersey’ Trade Mark for fragrance.”
In opposition, the Strategy Manager for Jersey’s Economic Development, Darren Scott, said: “Chanel’s application was contrary to the Trade Marks Act of 1994, because the word ‘Jersey’ designates the geographical origin of the goods, namely the Channel Island of Jersey.” Scott also claimed the trademark “Jersey” would likely confuse the public about the geographical origin of the goods, misleading them to think they are made on the island or that the product contains ingredients grown there.
Chanel can continue to use the fragrance name, but will not own the trademark.