Elle loses legal fight over trademark

The publisher
of Elle has lost a trademark battle over the use of the magazine\’s name
on merchandise such as slippers, bed linen and artificial flowers.

In
a decision just made public after a hearing last year, a trademarks
judge in London has revoked the trademarks owned by publishers Hachette
Filipacchi Presse in relation to these and certain other goods after he
found that the marks hadn\’t been used for five years.

However,
Hachette Filipacchi was allowed to keep the \”Elle\” trademark for
clothing, bags and leather accessories, spectacles and sunglasses and
beach towels, which the judge found had been produced within that time.

South
African textile firm Saprotex International, which also uses the name
\”Elle\” on some of its products, took action to have the trademarks
revoked for non-use.

A trademark judge has backed Saprotex\’s
challenge in respect of three trademark classes: \”Bedcovers,
tablecovers, household linen (other than clothing) and bed blankets;
lace and embroidery, ribbon and braid, and artificial flowers; and
slippers and headgear\”.

The judge rejected Saprotex\’s claim in
respect of beach towels, and the South African company abandoned its
challenge to the registration of the \”Elle\” mark for the other goods.

Revoking
the trademarks, with effect from 11 November 2003, when Saprotex made
its application, he said: \”I am not satisfied that HFP has shown use of
the mark in relation to the goods or that the evidence is adequate to
demonstrate that preparations for use were under way by the end of the
relevant period.\”

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