The Scent Of Parody Balenciaga Sued Over Little Trees Trademark
The Scent of Parody? Balenciaga sued over Little Trees trademark
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When people think of trademarks, standard character marks offer flexibility. Design marks may the best option. Therefore, applicants should consult with a trademark attorney.
Little Trees and Balenciaga's history
In 1917, Cristóbal Balenciaga founded his eponymous fashion brand. Today, the fashion house is owned by the Chilean fashion conglomerate Kering. The current creative director of Balenciaga is Demna Gvasalia. From the Balenciaga’s Spring 2019 Ready-to-Wear collection, it had appeared Gvasalia had departed from his logocentric designs to focus on innovative shapes.
Possible Parody Defense
Defenses against an allegation of trademark infringement include parody. Balenciaga may argue that their keychains are a parody of Little Trees’ product. Taking something cheap and useful and changing it into an expensive, decorative object is not generally funny. These “fantasy versus reality” designs may make for interesting fashion blogs, however something can be ironic, subversive, or satire and not meet the legal requirements of trademark parody
It is most likely that Balenciaga will not be able to overcome Little Trees’ allegation of trademark infringement. Parody is not an absolute defense to trademark infringement. It is worrying that Balenciaga may have copied Little Trees’ design mark simply for news coverage, but the litigation by Little Trees may deter Gvasalia from copying other brands in the future.
Balenciaga is unlikely to succeed in defending against Little Trees' trademark infringement claim. Parody is not a guaranteed defense, and it is concerning that Balenciaga may have copied Little Trees' design mark for publicity. The litigation by Little Trees may discourage Balenciaga from copying other brands in the future.
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