Efforts to Trademark “Jersey” by Chanel Failed

Fashion house ‘Chanel’ released Jersey, a lavender scented fragrance in 2011 in memory of its founder Coco Chanel who brought jersey fabric into women’s clothing. Lately, the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office rejected Chanel’s application for trademarking the term “Jersey” for its perfume. The trademark for the word “Jersey” was registered to cover “preparations for application to or care of the skin, scalp, hair or nails; soaps; perfumes; essential oils; cosmetics; non-medicated toilet preparations.” The attempt on the part of Chanel to trademark the word “Jersey” was opposed from officials of the channel island Jersey who were concerned that consumers might think the fragrance was produced on the island. Judi Pike, who rejected Chanel’s attempt, found that using the word “Jersey” would exclusively reflect the geographic origin of the class of goods.

This present decision by the UK Intellectual Property Office would denote the name “Jersey” will be protected exclusively for farmers and small businesses from the island of Jersey. The representatives of the island said that they are not against Chanel for using the term “Jersey”, but are against the move to register the name as a trademark. Following decision from the UK Intellectual Property Office, Chanel filed another application to trademark the term “Jersey Chanel.”

This is not the first case where the name of a fragrance has invoked geographical interests. In 1993, Yves Saint Laurent was asked to stop using the term “Champagne” in its advertisement after a legal battle with the champagne industry. The French fashion name later altered its perfume’s name from “Champagne” to “Yvresse” after settlement of the dispute.

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