IPEC Case Report- Claridge’s Hotel Ltd v Claridge Candles Ltd and another

Claridge’s Hotel Ltd v Claridge Candles Ltd and another [2019] EWHC 2003 (IPEC)

The Intellectual Property and Enterprise court made a recent judgement on trade mark registrations regarding the word ”Claridge’s”.
The parties as explained :

The claimants managed a luxury five-star hotel in the affluent area of Mayfair, London called Claridge’s Hotel. However, the defendants were a small company located in Kent, where the sole owner lived at Claridge Court, Kent who produced candles and reed diffusers who named the goods Claridge Candles.

The claimants trade mark registrations caused confusion whereby the claimant at the time secured UK trade mark registrations for the word mark “Claridge’s”. The issues surround this were if the registered mark had distinctive character.

This also extends to the infringement of registered trademarks where there requires an earlier conflict.

Section 10 (3) of the Trade Mark Act 1994 states a person infringes a mark if they use a mark in the course of trade in relation to goods or services which are:

1. Identical or similar to the mark where there is a reputation in UK, takes unfair advantage to distinctive character.

It was held there was a slight transfer of image from the claimant’s trade mark to the defendant’s logos’s portraying the defendant took unjust advantage of the reputation and status of the marks. Furthermore, the action of passing off follows preventing the defendant from the deceptive actions presented to the public.

To conclude on this case, the mark and sign were visually almost identical. This shows a connection between the defendant’s sign and claimants mark. Therefore, likelihood of confusion can be presented and the defendants mark was infringing.

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