In a recent decision, the High Court of England and Wales has found that Tesco’s use of the yellow and blue Tesco Clubcard logos (reproduced below) infringed Lidl’s trade marks (see the relevant Lidl marks below) and also gave rise to copyright infringement and passing off.Read More
A recent UK Court of Appeal case has highlighted the importance of assessing the conceptual similarity of marks and not just their aural and visual similarities, when considering a potential trade mark infringement.
The UK Court of Appeal was hearing an appeal from a decision of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court concerning a claim by the British Amateur Gymnastics Association (“BAGA”) against UK Gymnastics and UK Gymnastics Affiliation (together “UKG”) for trade mark infringement and passing off. BAGA is a not for profit private company and recognised as the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in the UK. UKG is a gymnastics sporting body that provides: membership services to individual gymnasts, gymnastics clubs and coaches; competitions; courses and badge/certification programmes among other services.
At first instance, HHJ Melissa Clarke found UKG liable for infringement of BAGA’s trade marks and passing off. UKG were granted permission to appeal on limited grounds which are listed below.Read More
On 19 November 2020, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) in the UK handed down its judgment in the case of Freddy SPA v Hugz Clothing Ltd & Ors  EWHC 3032, which ran for an unusually long time for the IPEC (three days).
The decision was a rare occurrence of a passing off claim, together with other IP causes of action, succeeding in the get-up of a functional item, being “bum enhancing jeans”. Ordinarily, such cases, particularly with respect to fashion items, fail as the get-up is seen as merely design elements or ornamental, or the circumstances of the use lead to a conclusion that other trade marks (e.g. brand names and logos) dominate consumer perception.
This case could embolden brand owners in relation to enforcement of the look and feel of their clothing as it creates the possibility of confusion ‘post-sale’ in addition to the point of sale.Read More
An interesting recent decision by the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) on an unusual set of facts may provide an opportunity for brand owners to prevent unauthorised third parties from piggy-backing off a trade mark to drive traffic to their competing sites or product offerings. Uniquely, this has been found in circumstances which do not amount to traditional “bait and switch” or passing off and where consumers are not confused about the origin of the goods.Read More
Claridge’s Hotel Limited (Claridge’s) recently succeeded in challenging in IPEC the use of the CLARIDGE name by Claridge Candles Limited (Claridge Candles) – a small one-person business.
However, the success came at with a cost for the world renowned hotel as in doing so it lost one trade mark registration entirely and had a second mark reduced in scope due to a non-use counterclaim, highlighting one of the risks of instituting trade mark infringement action.Read More
IPEC has ruled over the recent dispute between Beauty Bay (claimant) and Benefit Cosmetics (defendant) which arose after Benefit sold a Christmas gift set contained in a globe shaped box displaying the words “Beauty and the Bay”. The gift set was part of a 13 product collection celebrating 50 years since the Summer of Love and the company’s San Francisco heritage which included products like “Glam Francisco”, “I Left my Heart in Tan Francisco” and “B.Right by the Bay”.Read More
On 12 February 2019, car manufacturer (and globally recognised car brand) BMW was granted summary judgment in its claims for passing-off and trade mark infringement against BMW Telecommunications Ltd and Benjamin Michael Whitehouse (the sole director of BMW Telecommunications Ltd). The respondents were a consultancy business providing services for railway signaling and telecommunications.Read More
On 9 March 2018, Byron Bay brewery Stone & Wood lost an appeal in the Australian Full Federal Court of Appeal to Brunswick based brewer Thunder Road with respect to their respective uses of the word PACIFIC for their rival beers.
Stone & Wood sells craft beer, including its best-selling beer “Pacific Ale”. Thunder Road launched its “Thunder Road Pacific Ale” in 2015, which it renamed “Thunder Road Pacific” later that year following letters of demand from Stone & Wood.
In a four-part series recently published in Habitus Living, we explore the issues faced by makers of original and authentic designs by the rise of the replica furniture industry in Australia.
The popularity of reality renovation shows has sparked interest and demand for designer furniture, homewares and lighting products. Consumers seeking such products at affordable prices have been serviced by businesses dedicated to the sale of replica furniture products that are manufactured cheaply overseas and widely available online.
Unilever Australia Ltd v Revlon Australia Pty Ltd (no.2)  FCA 875
This case is the latest skirmish between two personal product giants, Unilever and Revlon, before war breaks out on 15 September 2014 when the trial begins.
The case concerns ‘clinical’ anti-perspirant deodorant products; Revlon’s product sold under the brand name Mitchum Clinical and Unilever’s products sold under the brand names ‘Rexona’ and ‘Dove’.
The first interlocutory injunction hearing was brought by Unilever against Revlon in May 2014 concerned misleading representations alleged to have been made by Revlon in advertising. On balance, the Court refused to grant the injunction as it would have a serious adverse impact on the worldwide marketing campaign for Revlon and the trial could be held in July 2014. The July trial was eventually adjourned to 15 September 2014. Read More