So after the Louboutin vs YSL tangle over the use of red soles, we have Thomas Pink vs Victoria’s Secret over the use of pink. See, Pink likes to refer to itself as…well, PINK. And VS, since 2001, has had a secondary line aimed at tweens and 20somethings called (under 32 different trademarks, including “Pink Beach,” “Aolha Pink” and “Oh what fun is Pink”) VS Pink. And therein lies the conflict.
So a precedent has been set in Russia. Yesterday the Swiss conglomerate won their case in the Russian Federal Supreme Court, where in they sued a Russian company that had registered the trademark Vacheron Constantin and applied it to middle-market clothes. The result is a new legal standard in Russia regarding trademark protections that will be very useful not only to any other luxury brand doing business in the country but any luxury brand doing business in other emerging markets.
After YSL and Louboutin, after LVMH and eBay, comes Richemont and Russia. Yes, tomorrow the Swiss luxury giant comes out of the shadows and joins the fight against trademark infringement and IP theft that has been picking up steam across the globe. See, tomorrow the Arbitrazh court of Moscow will hear an appeal by Richemont’s Vacheron Constantin brand that, says the Chairman of the Chamber of Russian patent attorneys, could well determine the shape of Russian IP law going forward. And that, of course, will have wide repercussions for the greater luxury industry.