One of the most important news i collected from these weeks is the fact of Gucci’s loss of the famous GG trademark,now able to still use the interlocking double G logo for items sold under class three – such as fragrances,soaps and similar paraphernalia.Still,lets take things from the beginning.Under British law, UK trademarks can be revoked when asked to, if proved not in use within five years of their initial registration.Gucci first registered the motif in 1984 in the UK in classes that included the ability to sell accessories,watches,T-Shirts and cosmetics.Seems though they ”forgot” to renew it.So there it comes Gerry Weber brand applying for the GG motif on the grounds of not being in use during the time 2003 and 2012.The response of Gucci presenting figures of sales and use of the logo during the relevant period where vague as to whether where applicable to the UK market of a broader audience.Gerry Weber claimed Gucci’s evidence fell “far short” of the mark for showing genuine use, which “cannot be proven by probabilities or suppositions, but must be demonstrated by solid and objective evidence”.Given the inability of the House to solidly prove that it has been using the GG logo and was revoked as Gucci failed to prove use and protection of 14, 18 and 25 categories,categories that mean mostly scarves and coats, in the UK.
There is also another,more complicated issue for Gucci,should it happens.As World Intellectual Property Review states:” if the ruling had found the current logo different to the logo as registered, it may have opened the door to challenges of other Gucci marks, which may have been altered in the same way, on the grounds of non use.” Now that’s a hell of a problem!
Regarding the logo trademark UK loss,Charlie Winckworth, of counsel at Hogan Lovells LLP officially stated that: ‘‘The decision serves as a stark reminder to brand owners that the evidence required in IPO proceedings, and indeed the detail contained in that evidence, is crucial to their case – even for such a famous brand as Gucci.”
Gucci or its rival,Gary Weber brand weren’t available for comments till now.
And now,to the core. Why haven’t they provided accurate sales figures to prove the logo being in use in the UK,relying just to ‘uncertain references of sales that weren’t specified whereas it belonged to the UK market or elsewhere and thus retaining thenGG (double G) logo?Does that loss have to do with Kering chief finance officer Jean-Marc Duplaix commenting that ‘‘the performance of Gucci is due to a consumer environment in China that has become more negative and the brand’s move upmarket which has led to lower volumes of entry-price leather goods,” It was also observed, as Duplaix shared, that no-logo handbags such as the Bamboo Shopper made up 55 percent of total Gucci leather goods sales against 35 percent in the third quarter of 2012, while the average handbag price was 10 percent higher!Seems there is whole transformation of the Gucci,LVMH’s strategy towards the adoption of a more exclusive strategy “adversely affected third-quarter store traffic” for Gucci in the Asia Pacific region, Kering commented when publicly presented the quarterly figures this.While at the same time ”There is still some progress to be made regarding this repositioning. This transformation is not over yet,” were Kering’s chief financial officer Jean-Marc Duplaix exact words to analysts about Gucci, during a conference call. A transformation that is widely focused on Asian markets seeing no logo items to flourish.So,sacrificing the logo was a tactical move and not a act of neglect?Is this a clear statement of Gucci abandoning its traditional markets in favor of more distant and more profitable one’s, using as a marketing tool the ”essence of exclusivity’‘ of the famous GG logo,as it won’t be anymore available in the UK?And what’s next to come?