South African designer wear maker Polo (through its parent firm LA Group) has filed a suit against Wardrobe Collections Clothing Store for producing clothes under the name ‘Classic Polo”.
Polo South Africa is seeking an injunction from the High Court to bar Wardrobe Collections from registering the name Classic Polo as a trademark on grounds that it would lead to confusion among consumers in the country.
Wardrobe Collections had filed an application to register ‘Classic Polo’ as a trademark, but the application was opposed by LA Group at the Trademarks Registry in South Africa.
The Registrar of Trademarks while admitting that Polo (South Africa) and Wardrobe Collections’ Classic Polo are conceptually similar ruled that their resemblance was not enough to create confusion among consumers.
The case is before Justice Francis Tuiyott, and the Plaintiffs are seeking to reverse the decision of the Registrar of Trademarks.
In court documents, Polo South Africa’s legal adviser, Rae James, reportedly stated that “the registrar erred by affording insufficient weight to the fact that LA Group has a registered Polo trademark. The effect of this registration is an entitlement to exclusive use of the word as a trademark in effect of the goods covered by the registration.” He further stated that “the registrar erred by affording no weight to the unquestioned fact that the respective marks would be used in respect of the same goods.”
The case is currently pending.