Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Could Polo Ralph Lauren/Burberry Clone Get Trademark In Hong Kong?

The outdoor advertisement of Polo Santa Roberta no longer has the
Burberry tartan pattern background

"Buy one get one free"
Is this what luxury goods manufacturers such as
Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry want to be associated with? 

Here you can see the ® of registered trademark on the promotional poster

Still Polo Santa Roberta bags use Burberry-like tartan patterns
Polo Santa Roberta shop seen yesterday in Mongkok, Hong Kong. Remember my January 2011 posting when I thought that these kinds of shops were closed in Hong Kong, see here.

Polo Santa Roberta uses the ® of registered trademark in their promotional material. After checking the database of the Intellectual Property Department of Hong Kong, see here, they indeed have registered their brand (which is in my eyes controversial). 

The Polo/Lauren company registered (actual registration) its logo with the polo player with a stick high in the air in combination with the words 'Polo' and trademarks in July 12, 1994 in class 25 and July 17, 1996 in class 42. In February 2, 1999 was the actual registration of the word mark Polo for class 25. 

Santa Roberta Polo & Racoquet Club (owned by Hampton, Winter and Glynn), actual registration for class 25 on January 27, 2006. stick low. See the spelling of Racoquet. 
Polo Santa Roberta (owned by Santa Roberta Polo & Racquet Club International Limited), actual registration for classes 3 and 25 July 7, 2009, stick high in the air. 

I am interested to know why the Trade Mark Registry of the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department did not refuse the registration of Polo Santa Roberta based on article 12 (3) Trade Marks Ordinance: 

"A trade mark shall not be registered if -
(a) the trade mark is similar to an earlier trade mark;
(b) the goods or services for which the application for registration is made are identical or similar to those for which the earlier trade mark is protected; and 
(c) the use of the trade mark in relation to those goods or services is likely to cause confusion on the part of the public.

Not only The Polo/ Lauren company's trademark is harmed, but the registered designs of Burberry tartan patterns as wel

Polo Santa Roberta shirts are no longer sold at the Ladies Market (女人街) in Mongkok. Instead "Polo" shirts are sold.
Polo shirts with the iconic Polo player logo
 at sale at Ladies Market (女人街), Mongkok, Hong Kong
One "Polo" shirt for 45 Hong Kong dollar (a little over 4 euro),
three for 120 Hong Kong dollar (almost 11 euro)
During the Tang dynasty, early 8th century CE, polo was a popular sport
This figurine can be found at Musée Guimet in Paris 

1 comment:

Stolen Style said...

Would Hong Kong have any incentive--besides plain int'l relations--to cooperate with a US trademark? Does Ralph Lauren have a trademark registered in Hong Kong? I'm curious. I don't know anything about int'l relations of trademarks. Would love to get a follow-up! phileda07@gmail.com