Something For the Ladies: Chanel Edition

Post date: Sep 22, 2010 9:12:18 PM

I don't pretend to know much about fashion Chanel other than the fact that it is expensive, girls like it and it is NOT pronounced "channel". What I do know, however, is that Chanel is getting concerned about its trademark being used improperly and eventually falling into the public domain. More specifically, Chanel doesn't like it when its trademark is used to describe something that is not actually Chanel (i.e., that purse you got at Target is sooo Chanel, girl). Think of it as how some [old] people use the term Nintendo to refer to any type of video game system, Xerox to refer to any type of copying machine, or TIVO to refer to any DVR-type system, or, the most used one, Google to refer to any form of online searching.

By using a trademark as an adjective or a verb, it slowly works its way into the public domain and out of trademark protection. More to the point, if your trademark finds its way into a dictionary then you are in trouble. As the Fashionista story explains, Chanel has developed an advertising campaign to remind their consumers and others not to use their trademark when describing other clothing. Xerox made a similar move a few years back, as you can see here. So, the next time you see someone wearing a very trendy non-Chanel outfit, please -- for the sake of Chanel and their hard-earned trademark -- refrain from using terms that improperly label their clothing.

Fashionista: Chanel TM Protection