AND JUST LIKE THAT… - Thanks to lawyers at DLA Piper, luxury shoe designer Manolo Blahnik has won the right to use his name in China for the first time, bringing to an end a trademark battle that has lasted 22 years, International’s Jessica Seah reports. The Chinese Supreme Court canceled a trademark incorporating the Manolo Blahnik name that has been owned by Chinese businessman Fang Yuzhou. Blahnik, the Spanish fashion designer and founder of the eponymous high-end shoe brand, had been unable to sell his branded shoes in China because the mark Manolo & Blahnik belonged to Fang, who pre-emptively registered it in1999. Over the past two decades, Blahnik appealed several times, but those appeals were dismissed, with the courts ruling that the company failed to present evidence of sufficient sales in mainland China prior to 2000. “This was Manolo Blahnik’s final opportunity to defeat the pirate mark and reclaim the right to use his name in China,” DLA Piper said in a statement. “The winning arguments focused on Manolo Blahnik’s personal name rights and Fang’s bad faith.”


“Turn up the volume, especially when it seems like there is only silence. I’ve found powerful messages in the things that are not being said by those around me, and I often ask my instincts to please communicate with a megaphone. They always respond, and they’re usually right.”