French designer loses sweet-natured website to Kraft

14th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 14 (AFP) - A French court on Monday ordered a fashion designer to surrender her website, www.milka.fr, to US company Kraft Foods, which owns the Milka chocolate brand.

PARIS, March 14 (AFP) - A French court on Monday ordered a fashion designer to surrender her website, www.milka.fr, to US company Kraft Foods, which owns the Milka chocolate brand.

The US firm had sued Milka Budimir, a 58-year-old designer who owns two clothing shops in southern France, demanding that she cede control of her site so it could use the web address to promote its chocolate.

The court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre sided with the food giant, ruling that "by reserving and using the domain name milka.fr, Mrs Milka Budimir made unwarranted use of the Milka brand name owned by Kraft Foods".

The judges ruled that Kraft could not be faulted for using the Milka brand name "which existed long before Mrs Budimir was born".

The court gave Budimir one month to transfer control of her site to Kraft. If she fails to do so after a month's time, she will be ordered to pay a fine of EUR 150 (USD 200) for each subsequent day Kraft is made to wait.

Budimir was also ordered to pay legal expenses.

"We're sorry to see that the right of brands has triumphed over the rights of individuals," Budimir's lawyer Gerard Haas said, adding that his client would likely appeal the ruling.

Kraft had suggested that Budimir shift her website to a new address, www.milkacouture.fr.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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