Summary of the case
When the love hotel was operating under the name "Hotel Chanel", Chanel sued the love hotel based on the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, and Chanel won the case.
Chanel is a luxury brand that was established in France by French woman Coco Chanel and has been in business since 1910.
Chanel manufactures and sells perfumes, luxury women's clothing, handbags, shoes and jewelry.
Chanel is a well-known brand that most people know in Japan.
On the other hand, Chanel is not so famous in the United States.
I've asked Americans if they all knew Chanel, but they said that most American rural high school girls wouldn't know.
Chanel started operations in Japan in 1933 and was registered as a trademark in 1945.
When Marilyn Monroe came to Japan in 1954 after the war, when the reporters asked her what to wear when she went to bed, she answered, "I'll just wear Chanel No. 5". For example, it is said that it became so well known that Marilyn Monroe's words came out immediately.
Then, in 1980, Chanel K.K. was established in Japan.
About the love hotel "Hotel Chanel"
In October 1966, the love hotel business started in Kobe under the name of "Hotel Chanel".
The process of naming the love hotel "Chanel" is as follows.
The designer of this love hotel recommended the name "Chanel" to the owner.
When the manager asked the designer what the meaning of "Chanel" was, the designer answered that there was a perfume called "Chanel No. 5", but the manager liked the stylish name "Chanel" and managed himself. I decided to change the name of the love hotel to "Hotel Chanel".
After that, in 1980, Chanel K.K. filed a claim for damages with the Kobe District Court, saying that this love hotel was an act of causing confusion (currently a violation of Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 1 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law).
Kobe District Court's decision (Kobe District Court, March 25, 1987)
When Marilyn Monroe came to Japan in February 1945, she said, "I'll just wear Chanel No. 5" when I go to bed. Under the background of the time when the so-called postwar era of worship of foreigners was widespread, the perfume " "Chanel No. 5" has become a well-known product, and along with this, "Chanel" has become well-known in Japan from that time to the beginning of the 1950s as a sign indicating that the Chanel Group, which is the manufacturer and distributor of the product, is in business. It is recognized that it has become.
Management tends to diversify even in the fashion-related industry to which the plaintiff belongs, and when thinking about the current situation where many so-called brand products bearing the name of a well-known designer are on the market, at least for general consumers, the Hotel is the plaintiff. It cannot be denied that there is a risk of misunderstanding that it is related to the management of a company that has some business, economic or organizational relationship with the Cannel Group, and therefore, the name "Hotel Cannel" is used in this case. The actions of the defendant who ran the hotel are deemed to cause confusion with the plaintiff's business facilities or activities.
The plaintiff was not only found to have been infringed by using the high-class image of the "Cyanel" label, which he had cultivated over many years, as the name of a so-called love hotel that gives a generally vulgar image, but also by others. When the name "Cyanel" is used, it impedes the plaintiffs' ability to evoke the products and sales of the Plaintiffs Group, and as a result, dilutes the advertising function of the label. It must be said that this is the case (so-called dilution).
The Kobe District Court has approved the claim for damages against Chanel K.K.'s love hotel as described above (however, the amount of the complaint was reduced to 1.2 million yen from 12 million).
Commentary and impressions
In this case, the love hotel named "Hotel Chanel" and the luxury brand Chanel are confused, and the act of inducing confusion under the Unfair Competition Prevention Law (current Unfair Competition Prevention Law, Article 2, Paragraph 1, Paragraph 1). It is a case in which it was disputed whether or not it was No. 1).
The Kobe District Court said, "When I think about the current situation where management is diversifying even in the fashion-related industry to which the plaintiff belongs, and there are many so-called brand products bearing the name of a well-known designer, at least general consumers It cannot be denied that the Hotel may be mistaken for the management of a company that has some business, economic or organizational relationship with the plaintiffs, and therefore the name "Hotel Chainel". It is recognized that the act of the defendant who managed the Hotel using the above may cause confusion with the plaintiff's business facilities or activities. ], And it is certified to be confused.
Is the love hotel named "Hotel Chanel" confused with the luxury brand Chanel?
I don't think so, and I think everyone thinks so too.
You wouldn't expect the luxury brand Chanel to run a love hotel.
Nowadays, love hotels are said to be boutique hotels with stylish interiors and exteriors, but around 1965, love hotels had a castle-shaped building that left a strong impression on the exterior. rice field.
In this era, love hotels are suspicious, and advertisements are rejected by media such as newspapers and magazines. It seems that the building itself was used as an advertising medium.
In such an era, you wouldn't think that the luxury brand Chanel runs a love hotel.
The Kobe District Court has certified it as a "so-called love hotel that generally gives a vulgar image."
Courts sometimes extend and apply the law.
Judges may make decisions by wondering which one will win social justice, taking into consideration the specific circumstances of each individual.
I think this is exactly the case.
A love hotel named "Hotel Chanel" is not confused with the luxury brand Chanel, but it benefits from using the prominence of "Chanel" and at the same time damages the luxury image of "Chanel". I think that I decided to forcibly find that I was confused because it should not be socially permissible.
Since Chanel is a well-known brand, we believe that it is now recognized as an act of prominent labeling under the Unfair Competition Prevention Law (Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 2 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law).
However, at that time, there was no act of misusing the prominent display of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law (Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 2 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law).
In the situation where there is no prominent display of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act (Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 2 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act), it is assumed that confusion will occur, and the unfair competition prevention law will cause confusion (unfair competition prevention). The judicial precedents recognizing that it is Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 1 of the Law continued.
Pornland Disney Case (Tokyo District Judgment 59.1.18)
Coffee shop Chanel case (Tokyo District Court 5.6.11)
Although the conclusion is correct, due to criticism from the legal community that the law is not applied properly, in 1993, the act of misappropriating the prominent display of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law (Unfair Competition Prevention Law, Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 2). ) Will be newly added to the law.
It seems that Chanel should have acquired the trademark right for the designated service "Providing accommodation", but at that time, the trademark could only be acquired for goods, not for services. did.
With the revision of the Trademark Law in 1991, it has become possible to acquire trademark rights for services.
This amendment of the law has made it possible to prevent third parties from using a well-known trademark for services by acquiring a protective mark for designated services that it does not use.
After the above amendments to the law, Chanel has acquired a protective mark to prevent the use of "Chanel" by third parties.