Zara + Lily Case
They say the best way to learn something is through our own mistakes. Apparently, that was the case of the Australians online gift store Zara and Lily (A.K.A. Peach and Pears Kids).
Two years ago, its owner, Shelley Tilbrook, decided to launch an online gift store called Zara and Lily, also Zara + Lily, as a result of having combined the names of her daughter -Zara- and her niece -Lily-, not having asked an attorney if this trademark option was available beforehand.
Just as in Argentina and in the US, the Australian trademark law prevents primarily from creating confusion in the consumers, so Zara´s reaction didn´t take to much time to come.
As they noticed the existence of the brand, Zara´s Australian attorney decided to send a cease and desist letter demanding that they cancel their business name and domain name, claiming it was "substantially similar to its client's".
The result? Tilbrook was left with 50.000 dollars worth of merchandise that she could no longer sell and had to pay an additional 15.000-dollars-sum in rebranding and web costs.
So that was a bad way of learning for her, because that is a great amount of money lost, that she could have avoided paying if she had hired an attorney to conduct a proper trademark search.
And I don´t think this case is really over: today, as I was looking for some information for this post, I realized that the Google´s result for the search of "Zara and Lily" is "Peach And Pears" so ... the confusion is still alive?
Despite this sad experience, nowadays Peach and Pears Kids is doing great! But be careful: it can cost you a lot of money not to invest in the advice and expertise of an attorney specialised in trademark protection!