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L'Occitane blocks former Miss World contestant's skincare line trademark

Chloe Burney
21 May 2024

After two years embroiled in a legal battle, L'Occitane has defeated Italian model Alice Taticchi's bid to register her "Arboria Skin Care" trademark. The French conglomerate argued that it looked and sounded too similar to its skincare brand "Erborian". 

The Fifth Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office decided on Wednesday that Italian model Alice Taticchi could not register her "Arboria Skin Care" trademark because it was too similar to Erborian.

Katalin Berenyi and Hojung Lee ​Co-founded Erborian ​in 2006. After the Korean skincare brand's popularity skyrocketed, thanks to its world-renowned CC creams, L’Occitane set its sights on an acquisition. By 2012, the group added Erborian to its impressive skincare portfolio.

The board said that potential customers were likely to confuse the two brands due to "strong commonalities, both visually and aurally".

The Board continued: "At least the general consumers with a sufficient command of English may assume that the goods, which are identical or similar to an average degree, come from the same or economically linked undertakings pertaining to different lines of cosmetics and related goods."

Taticchi, a former Miss World 2009 beauty pageant contestant, applied to trademark Arboria in late 2021. L'Occitane challenged the registration of the mark in 2022 and in 2023, the EUIPO's opposition division decided that there was a likelihood of confusion between the marks.

Taticchi appealed the ruling, arguing that the two signs were different. She said that Erborian was a fanciful term alluding to "herbs of the orient," in contrast to her brand's reference to "Arboreal", which relates to trees. Ultimately, the board disagreed, concluding that Erborian and Arboria would not be interpreted as conceptually different and would "confuse customers".

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