French designer bites at Kraft over Milka website

31st January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 31 (AFP) - A court case pitting a French fashion designer against the US company Kraft Foods started in a Paris suburb Monday, with the two fighting over a French website name, www.milka.fr.

PARIS, Jan 31 (AFP) - A court case pitting a French fashion designer against the US company Kraft Foods started in a Paris suburb Monday, with the two fighting over a French website name, www.milka.fr.  

The American firm wants Milka Budimir, a 58-year-old stylist who owns two clothing shops in southern France, to cede control of the site she currently owns to promote its Milka brand of Swiss chocolate, whose advertising icon is a purple cow.  

But Budimir has struck back, demanding Kraft Foods - a subsidiary of the Altria group that owns Philip Morris, the cigarette manufacturer - pay EUR 90,000 (USD 117,500) in damages and EUR 10,000 (USD 13,000) in legal costs for defending her right to use the site.  

"This has been a nightmare for the past two years. But I never thought anybody could mix up my name with the chocolate. And this is my one and only first name," Budimir told the court in Nanterre.  

In opening arguments, Kraft's lawyer accused Budimir of being a cyber-squatter who had taken the site with the aim of selling it for a profit later or using the chocolate brand's profile to attract visitors on the Internet.  

The lawyer said Kraft wanted the Frenchwoman to pay EUR 3,500 in damages, EUR 3,000 in legal costs, and that she move to a new website address, www.milkacouture.fr.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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