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Intellectual Property

South Africa

Trade Mark Dilution

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Italian fashion company Dolce & Gabbana is accusing a South African jewellery and purse-making business called Dolce & Banana of Trade Mark Dilution. Dilution is a basis of trademark infringement that applies to famous marks. When another person uses the mark, it has the potential for confusion because consumers could assume affiliation with the trademark regardless of the product or service being sold under the infringing use. A 300-page affidavit has been submitted to the Western Cape High Court by Christiana Ruella, a board member of Dolce & Gabbana’s holding company.

They demanded that Dolce and Banana change their name because they mock the Dolce & Gabbana trademark. Dolce & Banana shop owner Mijou Beller has since renamed the business “…& Banana” because of the lack of funds for a court battle. Dolce & Gabbana also requested R100 000 for legal fees because two warnings were ignored before court action was taken.

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