Sonia Edwards, founder of womenswear brand Cwtchy Cwtchy, has won a trademark dispute against Turkish textile producer Sanko relating to the use of the word “veggings”.
Edwards used the word to describe her designs of jean-like leggings that feature a v-shaped waistline. Sanko opposed her trademark application in 2014, alleging that veggings could be confused with jeggings, for which Sanko owns the trademark.
“I didn’t realise that jeggings was a trademark or a brand as it was used so widely,” said Edwards. “Generic trademarks cannot usually be upheld.”
Mark Byrant, principal hearing officer at the Intellectual Property Office, said: “While the marks are highly similar, there is one difference that is unlikely to go unnoticed by the consumer.
“[Sanko’s] mark is a compound word based on a combination of the word ‘jeans’ and the word ‘leggings’. As a consequence, there is an allusion to ‘jeans’ whereas the applicant’s mark has no such allusion to ‘jeans’. The absence of this concept will play a part in differentiating the marks in the minds of the consumer.”
Byrant concluded there is no likelihood of confusion and ordered Sanko to pay £200 in compensation.
“The average consumer will not confuse one mark for the other and neither will the consumer consider that the goods sold under the respective marks originate from the same or linked undertakings,” he said.
Drapers has contacted Sanko for comment.