Ms. Lauren Indvik, Fashion Editor
Mr. Chan Ho-him, Hong Kong Reporter
The Financial Times Limited
Bracken House
1 Friday Street

Dear Ms. Indvik and Mr. Ho-him,

Thank you for your article of July 19, 2022 in which you reported the wonderful trademark victory for the luxury ladies shoe manufacturer Manolo Blahnik. By now, I am sure that all will have read your report, or other similar reports by your colleagues at the BBC, the Guardian and so on.

As I am sure you intended to say, China has one of the youngest IP systems in the World, and since the milestone Gatt-TRIPS Agreement concluded in 1994, it has worked tirelessly to become an upstanding member of the international intellectual property community. And like the UK, has a first-to-file trademark system.

The Financial Times is familiar with trademarks and their importance and possesses a US trademark registration for the mark "MORAL MONEY". But how would they use a mark containing such a powerful and demanding term as MORAL? Being in possession of such a mark implies that FT reports meet the bar implied by that very trademark(!)

Or maybe I am expecting too much.

Here's some free advice. In order to maintain trademark rights, a trademark owner must at least be able to show use of the mark. As your article seems to run counter to the requirement to be able to demonstrate use of the MORAL element in the FT's trademark, you might wish to suggest that they drop it.

Oh. And if you're thinking of registering other trademarks, don't try for "Honest Reporting". I think it's already taken.


Originally published July 2022

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