Posted Jul 19, 2022, 2:55 PMUpdated on Jul 19, 2022 at 3:54 PM
Winning a legal battle against a Chinese brand is not easy, doing so in a Chinese court is an additional challenge. For more than twenty years, Manolo Blahnik, the British brand known for its chic stilettos, has not lowered its guard to recover its name in China, filed before its registration in this key luxury market by a clever little man, the man of Fang Yuzhou business.
In a rare decision, the Supreme People’s Court, the highest court in China, has just issued an opinion invalidating the trademark’s previous registration. A significant victory for Manolo Blahnik who until now sold his collections in around thirty countries but not in China, because of this legal dispute which began twenty-two years ago. “This victory creates a solid precedent for other players in the sector who would like to assert their rights against pirate brands,” said the group – which will now be able to use its name in China and offer its creations to local customers.
The stilettos of “Sex and the City”
“We are humbled and grateful for the support we have received in China and internationally,” said its creator and founder, Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik. In the world of luxury, his brand benefited in the early 2000s from appearances in the “Sex and the City” series, which popularized its name and motivated the acceleration of its growth.
In addition to its famous high heels, the brand, which achieves around forty million euros in turnover, has enriched its offer with a new Birkenstock capsule collection marketed since June.
Manolo Blahnik, who intends to market his collections in China from the second half of 2023, had previously seen several previous appeals rejected by the courts. The Chinese move could incentivize several groups affected by intellectual property violations and trademark counterfeiting.
Hermès lost in 2012 a legal battle against a Chinese clothing company that uses its name in Mandarin (Ai Ma Shi). A file that still occupies the legal department of the saddler.
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