Fashion house Christian Dior is suing a New Zealand businessman Sirious Dior to prevent him from using his own name. The Auckland-based entrepreneur registered his company “Dior Fine Art” in New Zealand last year.
Sirious Dior is a 34-year-old photographer, who claims he is hounded by Christian Dior’s Australian lawyers, ordering him to stop using his name for his business.
“At first I thought it was a joke”, the photographer states. “Now I have to spend thousands of dollars on legal advice I can’t afford, to prove I can use my own name. It’s crazy.”
Sirious Dior continues: “A copy of my New Zealand passport sent to the lawyers did not seem to be enough proof it is my real name”, he said. “They are being disrespectful and insulting as well as behaving like bullies.”
Be that as it may, the owner of a registered trademark can prevent others from using a legally protected name. Even if the name is a person’s own name. However, it has to be used for the same products or services. For instance: if someone’s official surname is Louboutin, he cannot go out making shoes under his own name. Nevertheless, this never prevents him from using his name as a name.
It is very likely that Mr. Dior is going to have to comply to the demands of Christian Dior. Bullying? No, it’s just how trademark law works.