For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A tale of two Zaras, or the A to Z of rebranding

More perceptive readers of this weblog may recall that, from time to time, the IPKat and Merpel have hosted items written by Rebecca Dimaridis.  What has happened to Rebecca, they may be wondering; where is she?  Why is she not writing?  Well, the Kats can reveal that Rebecca is alive and well in her native Australia, from where she has sent us the following missive:

Today Tonight, an Aussie news show, reported that international clothing company Zara caused the rebrand of an Australian online store. Zara, which owns a number of Australian registrations for its name, contacted the Australian store after it discovered it was using the trade mark ZARA + LILY to sell a variety of goods online.

The online store had been using a stylised trade mark for two years.

The two sisters who run the online store stopped trading under the ZARA + LILY trade mark and undertook a rebranding exercise. Having to start again, they had to rebrand $50,000 worth of stock, lost two years of goodwill, a website, logo and small business beginning to turn a profit.

While Zara was did not launch its first store in Australia until 2011 (see here), a brief search of the register indicates that Industria De Diseno Textil, S.A. (INDITEX, S.A.) owns a number of trade mark registrations for ZARA that date back to 1994. Some of the registrations were challenged for non-use in November 2004 by an entity named “Ezibuy Limitd $ $”, but those challenges were withdrawn in February 2005.

The report highlights the importance of trade mark searching before use and registration and the importance of getting to the register first. With so many businesses now crossing borders and a brand being such a valued part of the assets of an organisation, trade mark registration is an essential asset to any business. 
The Australian store's rebranded name is “Peach and Pear Kids” and a search of the register indicates that this time, a trade mark application was filed on 12 September 2012 for class 35 services “advertising; advertising services provided over the internet; retail services”.
Two fnal interesting things to note are that (1) “Peach and Pear” rhymes with “Pull and Bear”, another registration owned by Zara and (2) the trade mark application for “Peach and Pear Kids” was filed by a Victorian company named “Fruitful Group Pty Ltd”. This company appears to be the marketing agency that designed the new website, rather than the individuals or entity running the online store itself. It is hoped that the latter doesn’t mean another headache is on its way for the two sisters …

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