Chanel has recently filed a US trade mark application for "5" covering cosmetics in Class 3.

This is a good case study showing how a brand and its means of protection can evolve over time, both in terms of sign and in terms of goods.

Chanel first obtained a US registration for "No.5" covering perfume and toilet water in 1926. The coverage of the mark has expanded over time, including face powder in 1927; toilet soap in 1942; lipstick in 1974; bath oil, bath spray, body lotion and milk bath in 1978; and cosmetics in 2018. Some of these goods have since then been deleted from the registrations, most likely due to the use requirement in the USA.

In addition to expanding the scope of its portfolio, Chanel has sought to obtain protection for a range of different marks related to its famous No. 5 brand. In 1960, the luxury house obtained a US registration for "CHANEL No. 5". It then obtained "CHANNEL 5" in the UK in 1983, possibly a defensive registration to enforce against ingenious copycats. In 1989, registration was obtained in the US for "5" in respect of perfumes, soaps and creams. The most recent application from November 2021 is also for the numeral "5" alone, but covers cosmetics. As accompanying specimen of use, Chanel submitted a photo of their eyeshadow palette which reproduces "5" on its packaging and is also engraved on the powder disc.

Together with the house brand, perfume bottle shape and label, it's amazing the number of different rights one product can disguise!

The progression from “Chanel No. 5” to the more simplified number 5 on its own is a practical reflection of Chanel’s varying real-world uses of the mark, as indicated by its application of the number 5 to eyeshadow palettes. Simultaneously, it is significant, as it gives the brand broader rights in the name of its famed fragrance, and thus, the ability to crack down on a bigger pool of infringing uses by others looking to piggyback on the appeal of the Chanel brand, as the brand has done in the past.