The Intellectual Property Office yesterday said that Taiwan-born, New York-based fashion designer Jason Wu (吳季剛) may get approval to register his brand — Miss Wu — in Taiwan this year if he files another application.
“Approval is likely if he tries again this year with more evidence showing that Miss Wu has been accepted as a brand by local consumers,” Intellectual Property Office Director-General Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said.
The official made the remarks a day after the Intellectual Property Court rejected Wu’s appeal in his attempt to register the brand in Taiwan.
Wu in March 2011 applied with the Intellectual Property Office to register Miss Wu as a trademark. Wu filed a suit against the office with the Intellectual Property Court after the office rejected his application.
The court reject Wu’s appeal on the grounds that Wu is a common surname in Taiwan and therefore could not become a copyright-protected brand.
“Even though he is a celebrity, the problem still needs to be looked at from a legal point of view,” court spokesman Lee Teh-tsao said.
The court added that Wu could appeal the ruling with the Supreme Court.
The ruling sparked an uproar in Taiwan’s fashion industry, with designer Chen Sun-hua (陳孫華) calling it “absurd” and “rude to the fashion sector.”
Wang yesterday suggested Wu may get approval if he again files an application, because his designs have gained a relatively recognizable profile after first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) and US first lady Michelle Obama wore his dresses.
Chow wore a short-sleeved, black-and-white floral print dress designed by Wu to Double Ten National Day celebrations on Oct. 10 last year.
Obama wore a one-shouldered white gown designed by Wu at her husband’s first inauguration in 2009 and again picked one of his designs to wear to her husband’s inaugural ball for his second term on Monday.
“I can’t believe it. It’s crazy,” Wu said after learning that Obama had chosen a gown of his again, according to an Associated Press report.
The ruby halter-neck dress she wore on Monday night was the only one Wu had submitted as Obama’s possible choice.
“To have done it once was already the experience of my life. To have a second time is tremendous,” the 30-year-old designer said at his Manhattan studio.
Wu created the outfit in partnership with jeweler Kimberly McDonald, who designed the dress’ jeweled neckline.
“For this occasion, it had to be real diamonds,” Wu was quoted as saying.
Wu also said the latest creation shows how he has matured as a designer and how the US first lady’s style has grown more confident.
Wu left Taiwan and moved to Vancouver, Canada, at the age of nine.
There he learned to sew by designing and making dolls’ clothes. He went on to study sculpture in Tokyo and later enrolled at Parsons the New School for Design, a college in New York City.
He launched his own fashion store in New York four years ago with his earnings from years of designing couture for dolls.
His first full collection debuted in 2006 and he won the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award in 2008.