Miu Miu has achieved cross-class trademark protection for its optical products, obtaining a favourable outcome in an application opposing the registration of two similar trademarks filed by a company specialising in eyedrops and contact lens sterilising formulations under the proposed trademarks, MIUMIUCOLOR and MIUMIULENS. The CNIPA, recognised the strong distinctiveness of the Italian fashion brand's trademark MIU MIU and the high reputation it enjoys in China and refused the application to register the infringing marks.

Miu Miu, which was established by Miuccia Prada in 1993, began the opposition proceedings, when its lawyers, Ferrante IP, became aware that a Chinese company, Shanghai Youmo Optical Technology Co Ltd (Youmo), had filed applications to register the MIUMIUCOLOR and MIUMIULENS trademarks for "eyedrops, depuratives etc." in Class 5.

The CNIPA found in favour of Miu Miu, who did not own prior trademark registrations in Class 5, but whose prior marks, MIU MIU, were in Class 9, relating to "lenses, glasses, sunglasses etc." In coming to its decision, the CNIPA concluded that Youmo's infringing trademarks did not differ from the genuine marks owned by the fashion company and therefore, both parties' trademarks constituted similar trademarks. It also took into account that Youmo's applications for registration for its "eyedrops, depuratives etc" were closely related to "lenses, glasses and sunglasses etc" designated by the MIU MIU marks in the relevant Class.

In taking account of the strong distinctiveness and high reputation of Miu Miu's trademarks and the similarity between the designated trademark and Youmo's similar marks, the CNIPA concluded Youmo's marks were copies and imitations of the genuine Miu Miu trademarks and if they were to co-exist, it would cause confusion among the consumers and therefore, should not be approved for registration.

The decision is a very important one, because not only has the CNIPA granted cross-class protection for Miu Miu, although it did not have prior trademark registrations in Class 5, it has given full recognition to the strong distinctiveness and high reputation of the globally recognised and successful fashion label. This decision will act as a deterrent to other companies who may, in the future, seek to benefit from registering an infringing trademark to the detriment of companies who deserve the worldwide recognition and success that their talent and hard work has achieved.