British high fashion house Jimmy Choo is taking a legal action against a student from China Xianjie Zhu also called Jerry Chu. The dispute initiated when the China-based student registered his name, “Jerry Chu” in China with the motive of starting a clothing line someday.
Xiang Zhu is 19 years old and is currently pursuing fashion studies specialising in menswear from Central Saint Martins London, England. After his father’s insistence, he applied to register his name in Beijing last year. This action didn’t go down well with Jimmy Choo as they considered it as a threat to their own brand.
Therefore, they filed a request application on 30th October 2018, to disapprove Jerry’s trademark citing the similarities between the two names and the confusion this might cause in the market.
Jimmy Choo has previously won other such disputes where trademarks like Jenny Choo and Ray Choo were discredited. Susan Scafidi, founder and director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University’s School of Law, said, “Jimmy Choo may well have assumed that the Jerry Chu registration was just another attempt to trade on the established Jimmy Choo name, since sound-alike registrations are a particular problem in countries like China, whose primary writing system uses characters rather than letters,” He also stated that disputes like these are very common which is why designers are advised not to name their brand after themselves.
Jerry said on his Instagram post, “I’m surprised so many people would care about me, an independent designer, a student.” He has decided to wait for the trademark committee’s response before taking any further action.