Chanel enjoys the sweet smell of success

The sun has set on Samantha Roddick's dreams of registering a trademark for her upmarket sex shop that promises its customers to "titillate every extremity". Inspired by her mother's (Anita Roddick) Body Shop chain but keen to cater for the more sensual end of the massage oil and passion potion market, Samantha opened Coco de Mer in Covent Garden a couple of years ago. She decided to name her shop after the palm nut which was described to the High Court as a "potent and particularly feminine symbol of fertility".

But Roddick's desire to make her mark was dashed this week when Mr Justice Patten upheld the trade mark registrar's refusal to grant her a trade mark. Her shop may be upmarket but it was not classy enough to compete with the Parisian style of Chanel. Having got scent of Roddick's trade mark application the company, which has since 1984 marketed its own highly successful 'Coco' cosmetic brand, wanted to ensure there would be no confusion. They launched an objection claiming that this allusion to the essence of fertile nut should not be permitted to tarnish the reputation of their designer fragrances.

In a fascinating judgment that included much historical analysis of palm trees and nuts as well as a drawing, Mr Justice Patten sided with Chanel and found for the fragrant rather than the fertile brand.

Coco de Mer nut explained HERE

The legend of the nut and its fertile properties HERE

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