Luxury footwear designer Manolo Blahnik has achieved a major victory in a trademark dispute that has lasted for 22 years in China. This landmark win not only allows Blahnik to use his own name in China but also sets a strong precedent for other industry professionals to protect their trademark rights in the country.

Since 1999, Blahnik has been unable to bring his designs and offer his products to customers throughout China due to an unlawful trademark registration that incorporated his name. However, with this legal victory, he can finally enter the Chinese market. Blahnik expressed his excitement and gratitude, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to visit the beauty and elegance of China once again.

The dispute began in 2000 when the British luxury brand filed a claim to invalidate the unauthorized trademark registration. Finally, in January, the proceedings concluded with a retrial hearing, and five months later, the Supreme Court issued a final judgment in favor of Manolo Blahnik’s name rights.

Blahnik, the Founder and Creative Director of his label, expressed his gratitude for the support received from the fashion industry and everyone involved in the case. He thanked the Supreme People’s Court of China for their contributions to this successful outcome.

CEO Kristina Blahnik also showed her appreciation for the Supreme People’s Court of China’s careful consideration of their long-standing case, highlighting its significance for their family. She eagerly awaits the opportunity to share Manolo’s story, creations, and passions with the country, as they have always admired China’s rich cultural heritage and its people.

Georgina McManus, Chief Legal Officer at Manolo Blahnik, praised the landmark nature of this decision and the focus on substantive justice displayed by the Supreme People’s Court of China. She credited the win to the dedication, tenacity, and support of the brand’s teams, advisers, and friends, with Head of Legal, Jack Randles, providing strong leadership throughout the process.

While the company’s plans for the Chinese market are still in the early stages, Kristina Blahnik hopes to begin selling directly in China by the second half of next year. She emphasized the importance of approaching the market with care and taking the necessary time to ensure a successful entry.

This landmark trademark dispute victory not only celebrates Manolo Blahnik’s personal triumph but also emphasizes the significance of protecting intellectual property rights in China’s fashion industry. It sends a powerful message to the entire industry that rights can be enforced, and pirate trademarks can be combated in the country. Other luxury brands and designers are now encouraged to follow in Blahnik’s footsteps and defend their trademarks in China as well.

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