The most pertinent question in most of the cases involving trademark disputes between luxury brands is whether the consumers are able to distinguish between labels with similar names.

This question has come up recently for the luxury shoe brand Jimmy Cho. It concerns Xianjie Zhu, a 19-year-old from Guangdong Province in China, who attended Central Saint Martins Art School in London and adopted the English name Jerry Chu. As a young fashion student, he wanted to start his own label in China. With two years of his course still left and no intention to start business immediately, he applied for registering his English name Jerry Chu at the Chinese Trademark Registry. Jimmy Choo has now spotted the mark and has applied to invalidate it on the basis that the similarities between the names Jimmy Choo and Jerry Chu would cause confusion in the market.

Going by China’s record of malicious trademark filing, Jimmy Choo’s legal team has to convince the registry that registering Jerry Chu will cause genuine confusion in the minds of the consumers.

If Jimmy Choo is successful in their bid to invalidate the mark, it will become very difficult for Jerry Chu to use his name in any country. This is a very common issue with designers with similar surnames. The case with Alexander Wang and Vera Wang is somewhat similar. However, both their trademarks coexist as their goods are considerably different.

It remains to be seen how Jerry Chu fares in his bid to protect his own name.

23 aug, 2018


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