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YSL Loses Japanese Trade Mark Opposition

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) has failed to oppose a Japanese application for a figurative ‘USL’ trade mark.

The French fashion giant, which owns a figurative trade mark for a monogram of ‘YSL’, filed an opposition in 2023 against Marusho Hotta Co. Ltd (doing business as UN-USELESS)’s application to register a figurative mark consisting of a monogram of ‘USL’, surrounded by a circle.

YSL argued that the USL mark, which was to be used on apparel, was similar in both pronunciation and appearance to the more reputable ‘YSL’ mark and therefore had the potential to confuse consumers.

However, the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) disagreed, finding that the overall configuration of the marks meant that they were visibly different and unlikely to cause confusion amongst consumers. They also affirmed that the marks lacked aural similarity, given the difference between the ‘u’ and ‘y’ sound.

The JPO ultimately rejected YSL’s opposition, allowing the figurative ‘USL’ trade mark to proceed to registration.

If you have any questions on the above, feel free to contact a member of the team at 0191 281 4000 or alternatively at legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

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