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  • Writer's pictureThe Legal Digest

Manolo Blahnik wins Trademark Dispute in China

Everything you need to know about the luxury shoe brand trademark dispute.

Photo: Manolo Blahnik

Manolo Blahnik a famous luxury shoe brand made famous by celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker has been around since the late 1970's. Its distinctive design on the front of the shoe sets it apart from any other shoe brand.

The luxury shoe brand won a 20 year legal battle in China over the use of its name "Manolo Blahnik". In China the laws relating to intellectual property requires brands to prove prior use or intent in order to register a trademark which in contrast to England and Wales intellectual property laws are more stringent.

It could only sell its products via third party commercial platforms, eating into their profit margins, but winning this legal battle means that they are free to sell to consumers directly.

Not being able to register a trademark can be problematic for any brand when it comes to protecting it from being copied and expanding into other markets. This is also true as counterfeit goods become more common amongst the luxury shoe and clothing brands.

Manolo Blahnik isn't the only brand to find it difficult to register trademarks, Hermes lost it battle to stop another Chinese menswear brand from using their designs. So this case will set a precedent which other brands will welcome when looking at ways to protect their own.


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