31 July 2019TrademarksSaman Javed

IPEC sides with Claridge’s Hotel in trademark dispute

The UK’s  Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has delivered a ruling in a trademark dispute between London-based hotel  Claridge’s and a candle maker.

In a  judgment on Monday, July 29, presiding judge Douglas Campbell found that UK-based retailer Claridge Candles had infringed a trademark belonging to Claridge’s Hotel.

The dispute focused on the word mark ‘Claridge’s’, which is registered in classes 3, 5, 16, 35, 43 and 44 for a range of goods and services including toiletries, retail services, hotel, restaurant, café and bar services and health and spa services.

The court was asked to decide whether the hotel could stop Claridge Candles from selling candles, the labels of which bear the words “Claridge London”.

In his judgment, Campbell said Claridge’s Hotel’s trademark and the Claridge Candles’ applied-for mark were visually and aurally almost identical. It also agreed with Claridge’s Hotel that there was a high degree of conceptual similarity.

He found there to be a risk that the public might believe that the goods and services provided by both parties come from the same or economically-linked establishments, and therefore there a likelihood of confusion exists.

He said this was highlighted by the fact that Claridge’s Hotel’s mark had gained significant reputation in the UK.

Campbell said Claridge Candles labelling “does not merely take advantage of the fact that Claridge’s Hotel’s mark is so well known in relation to hotel services, but also takes advantage of its reputation for luxury, glamour, elegance, and exclusivity”.

“I have no doubt that Claridge Candles’ use of this sign does in fact enable them to charge higher prices for their products, and/or enables them to sell more of their products to consumers,” he said.

Campbell added: “As such it has an effect on the economic behaviour of their customers. This is not merely a commercial advantage but an unfair one.”

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