Monday, September 26, 2016

Pierre Cardin in fashion exile from Indonesia

Image result for pierre cardin logo
Another problematic trademark pirate case has ended up on the rocks. The Trademark Pierre Cardin is owned by one Alexander Satryo Wibowo in class 3 for personal care products.

The French fashion designer, Pierre Cardin started his own collection in the early 1950s becoming successful in the 60s and 70s even designing for Pakistan International Airline, and the Philippines National Dress Barong Tagalog. Pierre Cardin France registered their own trademark in Indonesia in 2009 which (in an obvious error by the Trademark Office) is an identical mark in the same class!

In 1977 an Indonesian produced clothing line was made under the trademark Pierre Cardin and registered in Indonesia by Wenas Widjaja. In 1985 it was assigned to Raiman and then later to Eddy Tan and in 1987 from Eddy to Alexander. Pierre Cardin France filed a lawsuit against Alexander. In his defence, Alexander claimed that the lawsuit was out of time since cancellation must be brought within 5 years of registration.  There is an exception to this which is cases of bad faith (which this case ought to have been.)

However the court found no clear evidence of bad faith. It is not clear why; sometimes bad faith claims are made with no evidence. It ought to have been easy to show but perhaps no evidence from 1977 was available. The judges didn’t clearly say this but it is implicit that bad faith needs to be proven at the time of application.  

 Pierre Cardin France filed an appeal but the Supreme Court rejected it. Oddly the court argued "The Defendant has the distinction of always putting the wording "product by PT Gudang Rejeki". Therefore…that trademark was not riding the fame of other party's trademark," said the panel. That is plainly wrong as confusion is not relevant to cancellation cases. However the decision was not unanimous. One Supreme Court judge assessed to the contrary that Pierre Cardin is a well-known trademark; and presumably he concluded there was bad faith.  
Alexander also owns hundreds of marks including CUCCI, CIANNI VERSORE, and GALENTINO all of which might seem familiar!


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