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Thursday, 26 August 2010

Déjà-vu and Golden Balls: now it's Gucci's turn

IPKat readers will remember the ongoing battle of Inez and Gus Bodur to steer their Community trade mark application for GOLDEN BALLS through to grant in the teeth of vigorous opposition from the owners of the BALLON'D'OR trade mark (see earlier post here; this decision is under appeal). Well, the Battling Bodurs are at war again, this time with an even bigger adversary. Let Inez and Gus tell you the story in their own words:

"We have another UK trade mark based on Gus and his ice cream van called Gussy The Ice Cream Man [above, right] and we published our first book in 2008, Gussy's ABC Book, and all the illustrations were done by our daughter Chloe Bodur. We also published Gussy's 123 Book last year which was also illustrated by Chloe.

Daunts and many other book stores sell them and you can buy them online, but as you know due to our legal dispute [over the GOLDEN BALLS trade mark] we could not take things forward with this or do any promotions or merchandise etc.
We applied for the Community trade mark at OHIM and guess what? Another big fish has decided to oppose this, it is GUCCI (see left for a typical representation of its mark in use), yet again we do not see how our books shaped in an ice cream van for toddlers can be confused with one of the largest fashion companies in the world. They are now owned by a French company, so it is déjà for us.
There is a two month cooling off period as you know and we have no choice, but will do most of this without lawyers as we have had a practice run already.
It should be in the Ham & High [Hampstead and Highgate Express, here] today as they called to see how we were".
The IPKat has shown the Bodurs' mark to various females within his vicinity, these being persons with known shopping habits, and not one of them thought the sign had anything to do with GUCCI. He very much hopes that peace and common sense will prevail. If for any reason it doesn't, readers will be hearing more on this topic. Merpel says, on these facts if there were any likelihood of confusion or possibility of consumers making a link between goods bearing the respective marks, I'd be more worried about damage to my brand if I were selling children's books than if I were Gucci.

The Bodurs' UK registration and Community application can be seen on the IPO website here.
Gussy's ABC Book here
Gussy's 123 Book here

2 comments:

Aaron said...

If they had only applied for the books/printed matter (in fact everything but clothing) then this probably would not have arisen.

As to why Gucci didn't just object to the clothing.. pressure. I wouldn't want the other side able to proceed with the main business and let the objection to the minor part of the business just drift.

I would hope that Gucci will settle on reasonable terms. As someone who has faced them in the past, this may not happen.

Anonymous said...

This is a no-brainer. Of course Gucci's going to oppose. How else will they be able to get so much free publicity in the Ham & High?

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