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Friday, 21 November 2014

Les Mignardises du Vendredi

Wine and Donuts 

 Yesterday was Beaujolais Nouveau day and the celebrations may have lasted late into the night. Hopefully, the libations will help France forget the issues that the release by ICANN of two new generic top-level domain names (gTLD), .WINE and .VIN, may create. American wine producers are not too thrilled about these two new gTLDs either and neither is the European Commission, which mentioned ICANN’s “unaccountable processes around domain name rights (such as the .wine and .vin issue)” in a memo about its position for the Internet Governance Forum 2014 which took place early last September. These two new gTLDs are both likely to be acquired soon by a registrar, Donuts, which, of course, also owns the .COFFEE gTLD.

It's a gTLD thing

The European Affairs Commission of France’s Chamber of Representatives, the Assemblée Nationale, adopted on November 4th a resolution about these new gTLDs. The rapporteur of this issue, Representative Philippe Armand Martin, gave as an example of possible issues the release could raise the one of the registrar of .VIN, a first level domain name, selling the second level domain name CHAMPAGNE.VIN to a wine maker producing sparkling wines outside of France’s Champagne area.

France is a fierce defender of its geographical indications and the resolution states that “the protection of geographical indications should be integrated into the process of delegation of second level domain names to protect the interests of consumers and producers.” The resolution also alludes to a forthcoming European Commission communication on the issue at the next Council on November 27 and so the arm wrestling between ICANN and the Commission about these two gTLDs may not be quite over.

Rihanna and Topshop, Continued.

I am in the habit to listen to Rihanna in the car when the weekend starts, so it is fitting that I add this information to the mignardises, which I learned reading his tweet published by Goss- IPgirl. Retailer Topshop is appealing the ruling which prevented it from selling tee-shirts bearing RiRi’s image (don’t you love when you get your IP news from Vogue?) You can refresh your memory about the case here.

 It is an interesting case and Rihanna may well be known to future law students as a right of publicity champion. I do not know the laws involved in this case, so I will not comment much further, but in New York, the case would be won by Rihanna without any doubts. Only (IP) Girl (In the World) indeed.

 Fashion and Trade Mark Dilution

I recently experienced a fashion trademark dilution experience I would like to share with you. On weekends, after an appropriate dose of Rihanna’s music, I like to visit a charity shop (thrift store this side of the Pond) and look at the used book section. Then I hit the tee-shirt section to look for shirts bearing amusing, but counterfeit (or counterfeit, but amusing) slogans and images.
One of my earliest  finds 

I stumbled by chance upon a dress which was hanged in front of the changing rooms. As it was hanging at my eye level, I first saw the trade mark stitched on its back: Loulou de la Falaise. Could it be possible that a Loulou de la Falaise dress had made its way to a US thrift shop, bearing a price tag of $7.45?

Haute Couture (Not)
At this time, I had not even looked  at the dress, but vaguely registered that it was made out of turquoise velvet.

After two seconds of complete consumer confusion, I snapped out of it and inspected the dress further: tacky buttons, cheap material and industrial seams, no lining, made in China. Obviously not the real thing. I was able to enter these information in my, hum, database, and compared it with previously gathered information about Loulou de la Falaise. Muse and collaborator to Yves Saint Laurent. Owner of a shop in Paris on the Rue de Bourgogne, where she sold understated yet luxurious accessories and clothes under her own name. This dress could certainly not have been purchased there.

I happened to know about Loulou de la Falaise, but what if another customer does not know her brand, and purchases the dress? Her name would then be associated with a cheaply-made dress: dilution indeed. However, even though Loulou de la Falaise died in November 2011, she is not forgotten, and more people may still learn about her. A book about her life has just been published and the November issue of British Vogue featured several pages on her. Even the Wall Street Journal recently wrote about her.

 During the same visit, I also saw a safari jacket vaguely resembling the famous Yves Saint Laurent model worn by Loulou de la Falaise and Yves Saint Laurent in the photograph published in the Guardian and the jacket bore the label... Yves.

Have a good weekend you all!

Image of wine and donuts courtesy of Flickr user cooklespi, under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's an interesting position re LOULOU DE LA FALAISE. No trade but knowledge amongst the cogniscenti - a bit like the TOMMY NUTTER case in the UK

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