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Not an Entirely New Look

June 07, 2002

Great minds think alike?

Grace magazine may be innovative in many ways, but not in its logo. The masthead is a near-duplicate of a New Zealand women's magazine, also called Grace. That publication, 49% owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., folded in December 2000 but still holds the New Zealand trademark.

Ceslie Armstrong, editor of the new U.S. magazine, said that she and her designers had never seen the New Zealand periodical before selecting their logo. She has applied for the trademark rights in the U.S., and the application is still pending and open to challenge.

Last week, concerned about brand "confusion," New Zealand parent company INL enjoined Grace from distributing the magazine in Australia or New Zealand, said INL lawyer Sarah Hard. And in Tennessee, the lawyers for Grace, a 5-year-old magazine "for Memphis women of color," want to bar distribution in that state.

Armstrong said she named the magazine to honor her grandmother, Pauline, who told her, "No matter what, you can always have something that's your own: style and grace."

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