Huge fashion company Zara opposes trademark of tiny fashion house ‘House Of Zana’
from get Z department
The last time we discussed Zara, the Spain-based clothing retailer, was to see the company tripping over itself to apologize to mainland China for naming Taiwan and Hong Kong as country on its website. Well, now the company is back, this time for engaging in a somewhat silly brand opposition to another much smaller fashion house named House of Zana. After Zara objected to the small company’s trademark application, saying the names were too similar and would cause confusion, hearings were held in the UK.
During the hour-long hearing, Zara’s lawyer, Julia King, argued that the House of Zana trademark application should be refused because its name was too similar, which could lead customers to confuse a mark with another.
Ms King said the word Zana was “a little brushstroke away” from Zara and added that “House of” was a common term used by “many parties” to refer to fashion companies.
There are a few issues here. First, yes, “Zara” and “Zana” are one letter apart. But, as House of Zana owner Amber Kotrri noted in that same hearing, the request is for “House of Zana,” instead of just “Zana.” This is the whole brand that Zara must oppose, not a small part of it.
From there, we can get into Zara’s claim that “House of” is such a common term that it shouldn’t even enter the equation. First of all, that’s not really how it works in trademark law. And even if it was, “House of” is obviously not that commonly used in this market, since Zara itself is not known everywhere as “House of Zara”. It’s just Zara. And for the sake of confusing customers between these two specific brands, that makes a difference.
Ms Kotrri added that Zara had not provided evidence to prove that consumers would find House of Zana misleading, and that it was clear to customers that there was “no objection”.
Probably because there is no consumer confusion to report, in this case. And, we absolutely must Add to all of this that Zara seems to have taken a much more aggressive stance on brand scrutiny recently. House of Zana isn’t the only company Zara has targeted claiming other companies’ names are too similar to its own. For example, Zara also challenged Tara Sartoria’s trademark, apparently because “Tara” and “Zara” are too similar. Tara Sartoria, by the way, is owned by Tara Nguyen, who employs “disadvantaged women in Indonesia and Vietnamas a way to help them.
I might also note that Zara has faced accusations of infringing on other designers’ designs and selling them as her own in the past, but I won’t… Oh look, I guess I just did it. The point here is that this is yet another example of a big business brand intimidating smaller companies, mainly because it can. House of Zana is certainly no threat to Zara, but here we are.
Filed Under: consumer confusion, fashion, brand
Companies: house of zana, zara