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Dior in Trade Mark Fight with Adult Star

Everybody no doubt has heard of Christian Dior, the famous French fashion house, and the value of their brand and their trade marks is one of their main business assets. Fewer people have presumably heard of adult star Gigi Dior who apparently has quite a following on the OnlyFans site. These two rather different entities are now engaged in a trade mark battle in the USA over the use of the Dior name. Gigi Dior has filed an application in the USA for a trade mark for ‘Gigi Dior’ in class 41 for various entertainment services related to the adult industry. This application has now been opposed by Christian Dior. A point that might prove crucial to this story is that Gigi Dior is not the star’s real name but rather a stage name and brand the star has chosen to build her following around. There is a provision in trade mark law that a trade mark cannot be infringed by use by another person of their own name. This defence has however in the not so distant past been limited by a reform of the law such that it only applies to the use by a person of their own natural name. It can no longer be relied upon by companies or businesses and it is presumably likely that a chosen stage name would also fall foul of this reform. This, coupled with the extensive reputation Christian Dior have for their name and the fact that they are not likely to want to be associated with the services offered by Gigi Dior, makes it likely that Christian Dior will be successful with this opposition. This story demonstrates the many different ways in which companies have to protect their brands. It is not simply a case of dealing with more traditional straightforward infringements but also other scenarios which may damage the brand. This also needs to be balanced against the risk of adverse publicity if big brands are felt to be bullying smaller businesses or individuals. If this story raises any questions for you please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or by email to legal@mcdanielslaw.com. in: Case Law, Companies, EU/International, Legal News, News, Trade Marks

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