Two weeks ago the photographer received a Âheavy breathingÂ letter from lawyers representing Parfums Christian Dior. The letter ordered Mr Dior to stop using his name for his business.
Mr Dior commented Âat first I thought it was a joke, Now I am having to spend thousands of dollars I canÂt afford on legal advice to prove I can use my name. It is crazy.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth a law firm based in Australia (Melbourne) wrote to Mr Dior advising him that their client is Âvery concernedÂ about his use of, and his companyÂs applications Âto registerÂ trade marks that contain the name ÂDiorÂ. They further advised that both Dior and Christian Dior Couture are registered owners of numerous New Zealand trademarks for, or including, the name Dior.
The letter further warned Mr Dior to withdraw his application to the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand within 14 days, failure to do so may result in Parfum Dior with no choice but to pursue with its opposition of the Sirous Dior and Dior Fine Art trademarks and further legal proceedings may commence.
Mr Dior explained that his family moved to New Zealand in 1989 from Tehran, and that he has lived in New Zealand ever since. Fifteen years ago Mr Dior changed his surname from Badiei. Badiei was his motherÂs surname, whereas Dior is his fatherÂs surname.
ÂA copy of my New Zealand passport sent to the lawyers did not seem to be enough proof it is my real name,Â commented Mr Dior, he further added ÂThey are being disrespectful and insulting as well as behaving like bulliesÂ.
Murray Stott a trademark agent was instructed last year by Mr Dior to register the name as a trade mark, he is engaging lawyers to defend the claims made by Dior.
Mr Scott commented ÂDior has acted oppressively by sending this heavy breathing letter to my clientÂ. He added, ÂMr Dior was very complaint and even offered to put his first name in front of the name he uses for his business as a compromise but that was ignoredÂ.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth declined to comment on the issue as it is a live matter.