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Fashion giant's legal battle with children's author

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 23/04/2018 Tineka Everaardt

Writing a self-help book for kids was always a dream for counsellor Kay Andrews.  

“My passion is to help children who are being bullied at school," she told A Current Affair.

"There’s so much stress and anxiety in life these days."

But after publishing her self-help book Zary: Little Wisdoms, the mum of two got the shock of her life – a legal letter from fashion retailer Zara.

"I panicked," Ms Andrews said.

"I was anxious and I did cry, I was upset."

Zara was opposing her trademark registration and wanted her to change the name of the book, claiming it was too similar to "Zara" and consumers would get confused. 

Lawyer Sharon Givoni said Ms Andrews had three options.

She could choose to fight Zara in court, which can be costly and risky.

The second option was to negotiate with Zara and meet in the middle.

Finally, she could elect to ignore the letter altogether.

"To me you don’t go to a clothing store such as Zara and ask for a children's book," Ms Givoni said.

"And it’s on that basis I just can't see how consumers would be legitimately confused – and the other thing to point out of course is the name isn’t even Zara."  

Kay wouldn’t back down, so she chose to hire a lawyer and fight the fashion giant.

That was 12 months and thousands of dollars in legal fees ago.

The mum and author call it a David-versus-Goliath story.

"They’ve got endless resources, they don’t understand every time they send a letter, that’s something my children miss out on," she said.

But she’s standing her ground and said she wasn't willing to back down.

"I feel really they should be letting it go, paying for my expenses and moving forward," she said.

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