Business of Fashion, Fashion Law

Designer Wins Back Rights to His Name

Designer Henry Dunay won the right to use his own name in his social media, but Dunay must give up his namesake’s .net domain.

If you are unfamiliar with Dunay, he is an amazingly talented award-winning American goldsmith and jewelry designer. Dunay achieved notable success after introducing the finely hand-etched Sabi finish.

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A designers’ use of his or her name as a trademark may seem a no-brainer but is not without risks.

Paolo Gucci of the famous Gucci family (and brand) was enjoined from using his name as a trademark.

Losing rights to your own name if/when you sell your company is a very real and likely possibility. Also, if someone else already has trademarked your name, you cannot even consider the possibility of using it. Even a name similar to a trademark protected brand may cause an unacceptable likelihood of confusion. Paolo Gucci of the Gucci family was enjoined from using his name as a trademark.

Well, back to Dunay, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled on Dec. 14th that Dunay may use his name to communicate on social media. This permission remains valid so long as Dunay refrains from promoting his other fashion business ventures.

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