THE CAVIAR NAILS LETTER

Photo from ciate.co.uk
Ciaté - an English nailpolish company that is known for selling Caviar Nail Polish and Velvet Nails sets - sent to a few beauty bloggers early this year a Cease & Desist letter requesting them "not use the trade marks caviar manicure and/or caviar nails unless they are used in relation to products or to a method of using products that are produced by Ciate", according to Buzzfeed.com.

At the time some of the letters were sent Ciaté had not filed the "CAVIAR MANICURE" trademark application in the US yet, which only happened on April 23, 2012 (with UK priority date of March 13, 2012). 

However, apparently sending the letters was part of the company's strategy to obtain the registration in the US.  But maybe they could have thought a better strategy of approaching the bloggers - which have an important role in promoting products and helping brands "get out there".

Prof. Susan Scafidi, Director of the Fashion Law Institute and Professor at Fordham University, explained to BuzzFeed "that by sending the cease and desist letters, Ciaté might be trying to ensure that the term "caviar manicure" is not viewed as generic. "If an examiner in the Trademark Office searches online and finds out that nail technicians have been referring to bead manicures as "caviar manicures" for years and that bloggers are now doing the same, then the Trademark Office might decide that it's just a generic term for that type of manicure and deny the registration. The company that has applied for the mark seems to be trying to make sure that doesn't happen by shutting down generic references".

Read the full letter: 
"It has come to our attention that you are using the mark caviar manicure and/or caviar nails in relation to a manicure product/method of manicure.
This relates to post on the 30th March ‘Caviar Nails Again’ as per link below:
http://prettydigits.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/caviar-nails-again.html
Brand Agency Limited (Ciate) own the trade marks caviar manicure and caviar nails and we are in the process of applying to register these mark around the world.
Therefore you should not use the trade marks caviar manicure and/or caviar nails unless they are used in relation to products or to a method of using products that are produced by Ciate.
Please confirm once you have removed references to our trade marks from your website."

And the "apology" statement released the buzz:
"March 2012 saw the launch of Ciaté Caviar Manicure, at this time we were in the process of trade marking the name "Caviar Manicure" in order to protect our packaging, this is a standard procedure most products by brands worldwide will go through. Unfortunately, during this sensitive period for us, 7 bloggers who had re-created the look calling it the "Caviar Manicure" received a letter from our legal team. The letter requested avoidance of use of the term "Caviar Manicure" and the reasons were politely explained. Unfortunately, some bloggers misread this as a cease and desist notice, which it was not. It was never our intention to cause any upset or distress to the blogging community who have always been so very supportive to Ciaté. An apology was immediately issued and indeed published online by one of the 7 bloggers who had received the initial letter."




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