House of Zana boutique owner wins trademark row with Zara
The owner of a small boutique says she is “over the moon” after winning a trademark battle with High Street fashion giant Zara.
Multi-billion pound fashion giant, Zara, which has stores across the globe, tried to order Amber Kotrri, who runs ‘House of Zana’, which specialises in handmade kimonos, to change its name.
Zara was objecting to Mrs Kotrri’s trademark application when it said her store’s name was ‘conceptually identical’ to theirs and that the average customer will likely confuse their two brands.
It also urged Mrs Kotrri to remove all branding – but determined to fight her corner and maintain her brand, she claimed it would cause ‘irreparable damage’ to her business and had no similarity to Zara’s brand name.
Mrs Kotrri, from Darlington, who received support from across the world for her fight against Zara, announced her good news today, saying: ‘We did it!’ In a post on social media, she said: ‘We did it!!! Thank you to everyone for all your support.
‘All the kind words of strength, those who signed our petition, shared the news and to all the news outlets who covered this story. You all gave me the courage needed to take on fashion giants Zara and I will be forever grateful for you all. WE WON!! With so much love from Amber xxx.’
Having initially launched her business online in 2018, House of Zana specialises in ethically sourced and sustainable, high-quality clothing.
The word Zana means ‘fairy’ in Albanian – the country where the company was born and has a manufacturing studio.
Mrs Kotrri said in April: ‘We don’t believe anyone has or will confuse House of Zana with Zara. We’re a small business that specialises in handmade kimonos.
‘We have one small concept store in the North East of England and a website to help promote our products, whereas Zara is a globally renowned fashion brand with over 2,000 retail stores worldwide and a massive collection of products.
‘There is no risk of confusing us with Zara, so why should a corporate giant be allowed to stop a small business from using a name that isn’t at all similar to theirs and would result in the destruction of our brand?
‘We know we are not a threat to them, but they could destroy everything we have worked so hard for.’
Commenting on House of Zana winning trademark row with Zara, Charlotte Duly Head of Brand Protection at law firm, Charles Russell Speechlys said: “In this battle of David and Goliath, the little guy has come out on top.
“Zara has failed to protect its valuable trade mark rights and House of Zana is now permitted to register its current name. This is a huge win for House of Zana given the personal connection linked to a name, and the feeling of being bullied by a larger entity.
“Zara may now let the matter rest and decide not to challenge their use, which would need to be by way of infringement proceedings. However, Zara can also appeal the decision.
Time will tell as to whether they take any further steps or if the Hearing Officer’s decision gives them enough comfort to coexist.”
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