A beauty therapist based in London has vowed to fight a trademark ruling that orders her to stop trading off the name Victoria’s Secret.
Maria Rosana dos Santos called her business Victoria Secret Beauty and set up a website victoriasecretbeauty.co.uk to draw customers to her salon, now based in a hairdresser’s basement in Mayfair.
She said the business was set up in Victoria and was a “secret” as customers would have difficulty finding it, and claims that she has never heard of lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret, reports the London Evening Standard.
But Nominet, the official registry for .UK domain names, has ordered her to give up the web address after a complaint was filed by Victoria’s Secret.
Jason Rawkins from Nominet said: “Taking into account how well-known the Victoria’s Secret brand is, together with the very similar form of logo originally used by Ms dos Santos, her claim to have chosen the combined term Victoria Secret innocently is again not credible,” he said.
“I therefore find that she was aware of the Victoria’s Secret brand at the time when the domain name was registered. She registered the domain name, and has subsequently used it, in order to ride on the coat-tails of that brand and thereby gain a business advantage.”
Dos Santos was originally offered $2,500 (£1,847) by Victoria’s Secret to change her website name, but she rejected the bid as “paltry”.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, she claimed the US firm was “bullying” her and she was going to continue fighting the matter on her own as she couldn’t afford a lawyer.
She said: “I’m a little fish and they’re the shark worth billions but I’m biting back. I chose the name because it made sense for the area. It was in Victoria Street, in Victoria and in a Victorian house on the first floor.”