Marimekko, Dolce & Gabbana fight over flower pattern

HELSINKI, July 2, 2008 (AFP) - Finnish textile design company Marimekko said Wednesday it was fighting to protect its trademark on a poppy flower pattern called Unikko after Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana had sought to declare it invalid.


Unikko create by Maija Isola in 1964

"Marimekko currently estimates that there are no grounds for Dolce & Gabbana's application for a declaration of invalidity" of the trademark, the Finnish company said in a statement.

The Italian fashion house, which according to Marimekko has been using its red flower pattern without permission, had submitted an application to the European Union agency for registered trade marks and designs to have the Unikko trademark voided.

The Finnish company said it had filed suit against the Italian firm in Hamburg earlier this year to block it from using the design, and the district court had granted an injunction on sales and marketing of certain Dolce & Gabbana products in Germany.

"Marimekko is considering further measures in the matter," the company said, adding that it planned to respond to the Dolce & Gabbana application before the deadline on September 25.

The Unikko pattern was designed by Maija Isola in 1964 for Marimekko, but it experienced a second coming at the beginning of this decade when it was splashed across numerous consumer products, including rubber boots, bibs, bags and shower curtains.

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