A fashionable month for trademarks — Jack Wills v House of Fraser and Maier v Asos

In the first case, Jack Wills Ltd v House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd, the issue was whether House of Fraser’s use of a pigeon logo on clothing infringed Jack Wills’ registered trademark, also used on clothing. The Jack Wills logo comprises a silhouette of a pheasant with a top hat and a cane. The allegedly infringing mark features a silhouette of a pigeon in a top hat, albeit facing in the opposite direction to the first mark.

It is common nowadays for clothing companies to adopt logos as part of their branding — think of Lacoste or Ralph Lauren, for instance — and it is common also for such logos to be registered as trademarks.

Arnold J considered that House of Fraser’s adoption of the ‘pigeon logo’ was a branding decision. He also considered that, even if there had been no deliberate copying, the designer of the House of Fraser pigeon logo may have been subconsciously influenced by the Jack Wills’ pheasant logo…

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