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50 most influential people in IP 2022: MIP recognises Amber Kotrri at House of Zana

Amber Kotrri is the founder of House of Zana in the UK

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Amber Kotrri, founder, House of Zana, UK

Another year, another David-v-Goliath trademark battle.

Amber Kotrri set up House of Zana, a handmade kimono boutique in the northern English town of Darlington, in December 2020.

Whatever her plans for the first two years of the fledgling business, they probably didn’t include a headline-making trademark spat with the Spanish fashion retailer Zara.

Kotrri did what small business owners are so often advised to do and filed a trademark application to protect her House of Zana brand at the UKIPO.

To her surprise, she attracted the ire of Zara, which claimed the mark was too similar to the Spanish clothing brand and would confuse customers.

Kotrri stood firm and fought her case at the UKIPO, as well as in the court of public opinion.

She shared her story on social media and says the support she received helped her persevere and win the case.

“I felt like I had everyone behind me. People were saying ‘this is ridiculous’,” she said.

She prevailed in August after the UKIPO issued an opinion finding no likelihood of confusion and ordered Zara to pay the costs.

It’s yet another cautionary tale for big brands that could be seen to be picking on smaller, independent rivals.

“It was a win for myself and my business, but it was also for other independents out there going through this,” Kotrri said.

“This shows you can stand up to big businesses.”

Profiles for the 50 most influential people in IP 2022
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The list is in five categories, which you can navigate by selecting the appropriate section below.

19 Industry leaders
10 Public officials
9 IP authorities
7 Judges
5 Notable individuals
 
Kasim Alfalahi is CEO at Avanci in the US
Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen are founders at Andreessen Horowitz in the US
René Claude Metomo is the president of the Association of Penja Pepper Producers in Cameroon
Clemens Heusch is global head of dispute resolution at Nokia in Germany
Robert Devonshire is a partner at MML Capital in the UK
Craig Wright is a computer scientist in Australia
Beat Weibel is chief IP counsel at Siemens in Germany
Audrey Lee is general counsel at Starz Entertainment in the US
Daniel Zohny is head of IP at FIFA in Switzerland
Scott Frank is CEO of IP at AT&T in the US
Nader Pazirandeh is president at Unicolors in the US
Jack Randles is head of legal at Manolo Blahnik in the UK
Stephen Wurth and John Scott are legal counsel at Qualcomm in the US
Mattia Fogliacco is president of Sisvel International in Luxembourg
Juliette Rouilloux-Sicre is vice president of legal and intellectual property at Thales in France
Jim Sullivan is a director at Shazam Productions in the UK
Joyce Ang is senior vice president for IPR protection at Lazada in Singapore
Niall Trainor is senior director of brand protection at eOne in the UK
Shannon Thyme Klinger is chief legal officer at Moderna in the US
 
Patrick Leahy is a senator for Vermont at the US Congress
Thom Tillis is a senator for North Carolina at the US Congress
The investigation lead at the Spanish National Police asked to remain anonymous
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the director general of the World Trade Organization in Switzerland
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the former president of the United Arab Emirates
Kerstin Jorna is director general of DG Grow at the European Commission in Belgium
Jacob Rees-Mogg is the former secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy in the UK
Edwin Tong is the second minister for law in the Singapore government
Vladimir Putin is president of Russia
 
Alexander Ramsay is former chair of the UPC Administrative Committee in Sweden
Insil Lee is the commissioner at KIPO in South Korea
Shira Perlmutter is register of copyrights at the US Copyright Office
António Campinos is president of the EPO in Germany
Shen Changyu is the commissioner of the CNIPA in China
Kathi Vidal is the director of the USPTO and under secretary of commerce for IP in the US government
Konstantinos Georgaras is CEO of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Christian Archambeau is executive director at the EUIPO in Spain
Tim Moss is former CEO of the UKIPO
 
Suzanne Barnett was the interim chief judge at the Copyright Royalty Board in the US
Len Stark is a judge at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the US
Prathiba Singh is a judge at the Delhi High Court in India
Colm Connolly is the chief judge at the District Court for the District of Delaware in the US
Orlando Garcia is the chief judge at the District Court for the Western District of Texas in the US
Wang Jiangqiao is a judge at the Hangzhou Internet Court in China
Klaus Grabinski is president of the UPC Court of Appeal in Germany
 
Taras Kulbaba is a partner at Bukovnik & Kulbaba IP Guardians in Belgium
Ed Sheeran is a pop star in the UK
Lynn Goldsmith is a celebrity photographer in the US
Ankit Sahni is the owner of the RAGHAV Artificial Intelligence Painting App in India