Amazon takes on small-scale Perth retailer Glamazon in trademark stoush
Monday, July 24, 2017/
Global ecommerce giant Amazon is making its presence felt ahead of its Australian launch later this year through an opposition to a trademark extension from Perth fashion retailer Glamazon.
The retail behemoth filed opposition via IP Australia to the local company’s application to expand its trademarks for “Glamazon the Label” and “Glamazon” into class 35, SmartCompany understands, a trademark class which covers the general retailing of goods.
Previously, the Perth retailer had only had trademarks in class 25, which specifically covers the retailing of fashion goods and other apparel. Glamazon registered the trademark in 1999.
IP law expert and director at Hitch Advisory Olivia Hitchens tells SmartCompany the expansion of the trademark appears to have raised concerns for Amazon, noting that class 35 is Amazon’s “most important trademark class”.
“The Glamazon trademark in relation to beauty and fashion wouldn’t have been an issue for Amazon, but their expansion into the world of general retail through class 35 makes them an unknown quantity,” she says.
“Amazon itself has had a trademark in class 35 since 2002 and it covers a lot of the services they offer. It’s their most important trademark so they’re going to defend it.”
Glamazon is owned by Perth fashion retailer Live Clothing, which first opened in 1994. The business has more than ten stores in Western Australia, and The Australian reports the company has around 100 employees.
The reason why Amazon would be pursuing an opposition of the trademark registration is “100%” due to the potential for confusion from customers says Hitchens, who notes it’s “just two letters different”.
“We would say that Glamazon was here first, and they do retail so they should have been in class 35 from the start, but I understand why Amazon wants to oppose it,” she says.
“They likely have no intention of competing with Amazon in a broader business sense.”
Glamazon could not provide a comment in relation to the trademark opposition, and SmartCompany did not receive a response from Amazon prior to publication.
While Hitchens says it might seem to some like the old “David and Goliath” fable, she notes that Amazon had done its due diligence and was prepared for its entry into the Australian market, registering its class 35 trademark in 2002.
“It has been proactive in preparing to enter this market, they did think ahead,” she says.
Hitchens also notes the global retailer has used the term “Glamazon” in reference to its internal LGBTI social group for employees, and it also holds the trademark for “Glamazon fashionweek” under an employment services class, which “could have factored into it [any objections]”.
For businesses looking to avoid any future trademarking headaches, Hitchens advises thinking broadly ahead when trademarking terms to see if there are any applicable classes you should register your business under.
“Trademarks last for 10 years, so people have got to think about the future of the business. You don’t want to have to go and register another one halfway through,” she says.
Both Amazon and Glamazon must now provide evidence of their claims to IP Australia by August 18, who will then proceed to make a decision.