Karen Millen, the founder of the high end fashion brand ‘Karen Millen’ wants to design under her own name, but can’t at the moment.
Together with her husband, Millen founded her brand back in the early 80s. In 2004 she sold the company – including all trademark rights to the name – to Mosaic Fashions. The brands are now owned by a number of Icelandic banks, due to some financial struggles.
Millen claims that the difficulties at Mosaic Fashions mean the agreement not to use her own name in business can now be challenged.
In the end this can mean that Karen Millen can still be active in fashion, but cannot refer to her designs as ‘by Karen Millen’. This would constitute trademark infringement.
Unless the UK Court, probably somewhere in June, states that Millen gets her name back. But that seems highly unlikely.
Selling your company and trademark is one thing, but when that trademark is your own birth name… think twice.
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