Anti Copying in Design has recommended that graphic designers register new logos as a registered community design, following reports of Ralph Lauren’s latest intellectual property wrangling.
Acid chief executive Dids Macdonald says that a recent case by Ralph Lauren against polo sportswear range Polistas highlights the importance of trademark searches and registering new logos in avoiding lengthy legal battles.
A registered community design is a far cheaper way of protecting intellectual property, and gives security in 27 member states for up to 25 years, she says.
Lawyers for Ralph Lauren have accused Polistas of ‘passing off’, or misleading customers into thinking the Polistas label is connected to the US designer range.
The Polistas logo features three polo players in an action pose, while the Ralph Lauren uses just one in a different position.
MacDonald says that any judge considering this case would have to consider the positioning of the marque, as well as the similarity of the graphics and the strength of visual association with the brand.
She adds that it is more difficult for a company to prove a case of ‘passing off’ than it is to pursue recompense via ‘the trademark route’.
The latest case is one of a long list of legal battles Ralph Lauren has brought against Polo clubs and teams.
The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club faced the US label when it tried to defend its use of polo player images on soap and perfume.
In 2005, however, Ralph Lauren lost its battle against the US Polo Association, which was awarded the right to use horse logos on its products.