Italian fashion feud

23 May 2023

Recently, two Italian fashion brands faced off against each other in a European opposition case.

The bone of contention was a new DOLCE & GABBANA logo where the letter K with a crown takes centre stage. At the very bottom of the K is another Dolce & Gabbana in miniature.

This application touched a sore spot with Kappa. Kappa is known for its logo of two people sitting back to back, but occasionally it also uses the separate letter K, which it has registered as a trademark in Italy for clothing, etc.

A complicating circumstance for Kappa was that Dolce & Gabbana's application did not concern clothing, but cosmetics. As cosmetics and clothing are not similar products, Kappa’s opposition was based on the broader protection enjoyed by well-known trademarks, which permits action against non-similar products. Kappa had to provide evidence of the reputation enjoyed by both the Kappa logo and the K logo on which the opposition was based. And that is where things went wrong.

The European Trade Marks Office acknowledged that there is proof of the reputation of the Kappa logo, but found that the K is used only sparingly by Kappa, and the evidence submitted did not show the extent to which it is used. In short, it did not accept that the K logo had a reputation that would warrant such protection.

That left us with a comparison of the Kappa logo and Dolce & Gabbana’s K. These marks only bear a faint resemblance to each other, and Kappa's opposition was therefore rejected.

Beeld bij tekst-May-23-2023-01-27-58-4215-PM


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