17 January 2019

Love is all around

Janet Jackson, Jermaine Dupri at Cartier Charity Love Bracelet Launch

Cartier loses trademark fight in Singapore as IPOS says love 'is meant to be shared' and French luxury jeweller should not have a monopoly.

Cartier has lost a bid to protect ‘love’ in a Singapore ruling in an attempt to stop pawnshop MoneyMax from using the word in a trademark registration.

Love shared

A ruling by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) stated ‘love’ is not exclusive for their use, and ‘love is meant to be shared. You cannot buy love and you cannot stop people from using it.’ The case has lasted over a year, beginning in 2017. MoneyMax, operating in Malaysia and Singapore, lodged a registration for the slogan ‘love gold’ with the IPOS for their jewelry services. Cartier objected and filed a counterclaim, stating ‘love gold’ is similar to their famous ‘Love’ collection trademark, designed in 1969 by Aldo Cipullo and much loved by celebrities since those early days when Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor became customers.

Love monopoly

IPOS did not see sufficient grounds for Cartier to halt MoneyMax’s trademark registration, and Mark Lim Fung Chian, IPOS hearing officer for the case, questioned if any entity could have a monopoly, or power, over ‘love.’ He referred to a previous case of Love & Co, the Carat Club case, where the word ‘love’ was deemed to be too common for one trader to have control over it. He stated this equally applies to Cartier’s opposition of MoneyMax’s ‘love gold.’ The IPOS ruling also noted that the ‘love gold’ proposed by MoneyMax, has two Chinese characters beside the words and bears no similarity in appearance to the Cartier design. While the French brand argued that the term is not too unique for the registration to push through, IPOS countered that the look of the slogan with the Chinese characters is.