50 most influential people in IP 2022: MIP recognises Jack Randles at Manolo Blahnik
Jack Randles is head of legal at Manolo Blahnik in the UK
Now ‘And Just Like That’ – a revival of the 90’s TV classic ‘Sex and the City’ – has been commissioned for a second series, it seems appropriate to pay tribute to the famous shoe brand that appeared on the original show.
Manolo Blahnik may have made regular appearances on the feet of ‘Sex and the City’ characters, but the brand hit the news for different reasons in July – namely the successful culmination of its two-decade long fight in China.
The Supreme People’s Court handed the company the right to use its own name after a 22 year legal fight.
Playing a leading part in that fight was the brand’s UK-based head of legal, Jack Randles. Randles worked with DLA Piper to secure victory.
It was a huge win for Randles, who has been with Manolo Blahnik for almost six years, and his team.
The brand now has unfettered access to the Chinese market, which can be notoriously tough for Western brands to break into.
The British company, named after its Spanish founder, filed numerous actions against Chinese businessman Fang Yuzhou after 2000 to dispute the validity of trademarks Fang had filed related to the ‘Manolo Blahnik’ name.
A slew of brands have come unstuck thanks to China’s first-to-file rule, including French winemaker Castel. The company was forced to pay a hefty fine for trademark infringement after it transpired that a Chinese resident already owned a trademark for ‘Ka Si Te’, a transliteration of Castel.
Randles first joined Manolo Blahnik as a solicitor in 2017 before becoming a legal counsel and then senior legal counsel. He was promoted to head of legal in January.