Snappy end to fashion's crocodile fight

The logo for Crocodile international.
The logo for Crocodile international.

A battle between two fashion labels over which one can lay claim to a crocodile trademark in New Zealand has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The ongoing tussle between Lacoste and Crocodile International ended locally in February when the court upheld a previous decision in Lacoste's favour. Crocodile International has been ordered to cover costs for the appeal.

Both firms use a logo with a crocodile and have argued for decades around the globe about who gets to lay claim to it, with occasional truces.

The logo for Crocodile international.
The logo for Crocodile international.

In February 2015, Justice David Collins overturned the 2008 decision of the assistant commissioner of trademarks, which had found in Crocodile International's favour.

Crocodile appealed this reversal, with lawyer D A Laurenson saying Justice Collins had incorrectly identified the "essential elements" of Lacoste's trademark.

But the Court of Appeal was satisfied Justice Collins was correct, saying the crocodile image was the "central idea and message" of Lacoste's logo, not the word crocodile or the mix of the word and logo.

After last year's High Court decision to overturn the decision in favour of Crocodile, Lacoste lawyer Julian Miles, QC, said in New Zealand the crocodile belonged to Lacoste.

He said Crocodile was not even currently trading in NZ.

- NZ Herald

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