The Case of Chanel and the “COCO NUT” T-SHIRT
by Eran Soroker & Robert Dorneanu
Sometimes legal disputes do not end up in court, but rather in an effective response to a cease and desist letter.
Such is the case around this T-shirt:
The text inside the square reads: “EAU DE COCO NUT PARIS”
Two years ago, the French luxury company Chanel sent a Cease and Desist letter to our client, an Israeli fashion chain, to stop selling t-shirts with this design. They argued that by using their registered trademark, COCO, the Israeli fashion chain was infringing Chanel’s rights. They added that the use of both the combination of COCO as well as the additional wording EAU DE and PARIS, were intended to associate the t-shirt with Chanel’s vast goodwill and lead Israeli customers to believe that this t-shirt was in fact manufactured by Chanel.
Our firm rejected Chanel’s claims. Our response was short and blunt. In regards to the t-shirt in question, we contended that Chanel does not own a monopoly over the phrase “Coco Nut”. Furthermore, Chanel does not own a monopoly on the name of the capital of the Fifth Republic or on the use of a square in design or of the writing EAU DE on clothing.
Our response concluded that our client is not interested in conducting redundant wars over coconuts and informed Chanel that we have recommended our client stop selling these items, thus putting this “COCO” case to an end.