In a blatant example of a trademark owner overreaching and bullying a small business, Jimmy Choo shoes is threatening a lawsuit against kookychoo.com, a small online gift shop run by a housewife in rural New Zealand. See If Jimmy thinks the Choo fits … you’ll have to wear it.
Apparently, Jimmy Choo thinks that the website kookychoo.com is confusingly similar to his brand and wants it shut down. Furthermore, he wants it shut down by Tuesday, December 23, or according to the owner of Kookychoo, a lawsuit will follow.
I received an email from Looie James, the owner of Kookychoo.
I am feeling very intimidated, bullied and frightened by the whole scenario and do not want to put my family or home at risk. It is less than one week until Christmas and my entire family is suffering the consequences, I am finding it difficult to function effectively as a mother especially as I have a seven month old baby.
I have received an overwhelming amount of emails confirming that there is absolutely no confusion between Kookychoo branding and products from Jimmy Choo.
I am not surprised that Ms. James received so many emails confirming the weakness of Jimmy Choo’s case. The sine qua non of any trademark dispute is whether there is a likelihood of confusion between the junior user and the senior user. Each federal circuit in the United States uses a marginally different test to determine this, and I’m sure that New Zealand has its own peculiarities. Nevertheless, it seems highly unlikely that Kookychoo, which sells gifts (but no shoes) could ever be confused with Jimmy Choo.
What is truly sad is how ham-fisted Jimmy Choo’s efforts have been. The article says that the owner of Kookychoo.com is planning to knuckle under to Jimmy Choo’s demands because she can’t afford to hire a lawyer to defend herself. She needs about $28,000. Anyone think we could pass the hat to raise that much for her?
Hat Tip: The Domains
The article states that Jimmy Choo shoes cost $700 to $1000 (New Zealand Dollars) a pair. That is $402 to $575 in U.S. currency, for the time being. Quite honestly, I see no good reason why anyone who spends $500 on a pair of shoes shouldn’t have everything they own confiscated and distributed to poor people, but that is a revolutionary manifesto for another day.