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Crocodile tears: It’s Birkin versus Birkin

'Suing a celebrity for standing up for crocodiles is not an attractive proposition,' writes Mark Engelman

20 August 2015

It would appear that the actress Jane Birkin first met Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Demas on a plane and, following their brief encounter, Hermès bags named after the actress have attracted long queues of Chinese buyers often trading slots for new bags. In essence there exists a futures market in the Birkin handbag sector.

Now, in consequence of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) ) campaign against Hermès use of crocodile skin in those hand bags, Jane Birkin wants to distance herself from the very bags which carry her name.

Normally, the sort of rights a celebrity can rely on to protect their names are:

• registered trade mark infringement;

• passing off;

• defamation;

• trade libel; and,

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