Chanel Has Filed Cease and Desist To Trademark Chocolate No. 5
Chanel has many iconic items. Whether it's their classic quilted pattern or their signature black and white color palette, the brand has done a marvelous job carving out its very particular niche in the fashion world. Apparently, the brand doesn't love it when others attempt to co-opt that carefully constructed image. In fact, they've taken legal measure to prevent it. Chanel's cease and desist against an Australian chocolate company prevents the chocolatier from utilizing the trademark No. 5 name and logo on their chocolate bar. After all, there's only one true No. 5, and it's definitely by Chanel.
This isn't the first time that Chanel has taken issue with another entity using their name or likeness. Back in September of last year, the fashion house sued a woman for naming a business Chanel's Salon, except that's not the whole story. The business in question is a salon owned by entrepreneur Chanel Jones, and it's aptly named after her. The fashion house argued that the salon would benefit from their already established brand. While that may or may not be true, the fact is that Chanel is serious about protecting their brand, and after all, it is an iconic one, so they can't quite be blamed for it.
Now, another someone has come along and is trying to do the same but in a much more overt way. An Australian chocolate company, owned by Alison Peck, is attempting to market a candy bar named Chocolate No. 5, and Chanel apparently would have been amendable to the use of the name, but the real issue was the logo. The Australian based company attempted to register a black and white logo with simple font that clearly resembled the classic Chanel perfume's own label. In a state about the incident, the fashion house states:
Chanel is always mindful of the need to balance the protection of its trade mark rights with the rights of others to trade freely. That is why Chanel did not object to Ms Peck's application to register the word mark: Chocolate @ N°5 for chocolate drinks and various chocolate food products - biscuits, confectionery etc. Chanel's main concern was that Ms Peck was also using and had applied to register as a trade mark the No.5 label in a strikingly similar black and white font for perfumed candles. Chanel only asked Ms Peck to withdraw the label applications and that over time she reduce the font size of No.5 on her labelling. Ms Peck agreed. She is therefore free to register Chocolate @ N°5. Chanel has tried to be conciliatory, looking at all times for a mutually acceptable solution and regrets that Ms Peck felt the need to re-brand her business, which was not our intention."
While Peck has stated that she was asked to completely withdraw her registration, the fashion house clearly disputes that. Regardless of whatever happens with the chocolatier and the original Chanel, the truth is that marketing a chocolate bar as Chocolate No. 5 and then potentially attempting use of a similar logo raises questions about intellectual property and brand recognition. While Chanel may have had a stretch of a case with the salon, this seems like a legitimate complaint that we hope is resolved soon. Because who doesn't love chocolate and Chanel?