GUCCI loses Trade Mark battle to Japanese brand CUGGL

Italian fashion house GUCCI recently lost its Trade Mark battle in Japan with the newly established brand, CUGGL.


In 2021, Nobuaki Kurokawa was granted a Trade Mark for CUGGL apparel and merchandise. However, only half of the brand name was visible upon the reveal of the clothing line. The half-obscured brand name and choice of Serif font bear a striking similarity to the iconic GUCCI logo.

The Ruling

GUCCI, being notoriously protective of its brand, filed a notice of opposition against the mark. GUCCI claims customers could be confused by this similarity. They claimed that this would dilute and devalue their brand.

The Japanese Patent Office (JPO) ruled that the two brands are adequately distinct and dismissed GUCCI’s claim in July 2022. This ruling is likely due to the fact that CUGGL is making its mark as a parody brand. They have released other designs in their clothing line that parody other luxury and high-end designers, including Chanel and Balenciaga.

Trade Mark Parody

A Trade Mark can be a word, phrase or logo that identifies your products or services. It distinguishes you from your competitors and it’s how customers recognize your goods.

So, what is a Trade Mark parody? A Trade Mark parody can refer to an amusing or sardonic take on an existing brand, logo, or design used as a Trade Mark. This seems to be how CUGGL has managed to win the battle. CUGGL adopted parody as a part of its brand. And so, it is difficult to prove that the public would be confused by this.

How to protect your Trade Marks

There are multiple processes to avoid a situation like the recent Trade Mark battles in the mainstream news. Two services we offer to all of our clients are:

  • A Trade Mark search (clearance search) is conducted before filing an application. To determine if any similar or identical marks are already in existence and to ensure your mark is eligible for registration. This allows you to avoid any potential conflicts with existing Trade Mark applications or registered Trade Marks and infringement of Intellectual Property rights.
  • A Trade Mark watch is a service to monitor if any third-party attempts to register any conflicting or similar Trade Mark applications.

Contact Us

In conclusion, actions can be taken in the event of an infringement. There are processes in place to prevent this from occurring. Finding the right attorney to help you protect your brand, designs, and innovations is vital. Interested in a Trade Mark search or a Trade Mark watch? Speak to our team today. This will be a no obligation meeting.

If you have any questions or would like help protecting your Intellectual Property Rights, get in touch with the Pure Ideas team.

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