Drapers reports today that Amanda Wakeley has stepped down from the label which will continue to trade under her own name. This story reminded Fashionista of the saga following the sale of another wedding dress designer's label: Elizabeth Emanuel.
Readers may recall that the designer famous for creating Princess Diana's wedding gown sold her business, together with a trade mark application for her name ELIZABETH EMANUEL. After falling out with the purchaser of her business, Ms Emanuel tried to oppose the registration for the ELIZABETH EMANUEL trade mark on the basis that it would deceive the public. The six year legal battle culminated in a referral to the ECJ which held that Ms Emanuel could not deprive the purchaser of a right it had legally acquired from her:
"A trade mark corresponding to the name of a designer and first manufacturer of the goods bearing that mark, may not , by reason of that particular feature alone, be refused registration on the ground that it would deceive the public..., in particular where the goodwill associated with that trade mark... has been assigned together with the business making the goods to which the mark relates".
Accordingly Ms Emanuel now trades under the brand "Art of Being" although her business' URL retains her name: http://www.elizabethemanuel.co.uk/. Fashionista hopes that as part of the sale, Ms Wakeley and investor-owner Jason Granite agreed the extent to which she can use her name for any future projects to avoid customer confusion and, most importantly, expensive legal bills.