Logos and no-gos — Lush gets in a lather over Amazon, Adwords and search engines

In Cosmetic Warriors Ltd & Anor v Amazon.co.uk Ltd & Anor [2014] EWHC 181 (Ch), the High Court has held that Amazon infringed Lush’s Community trademark (CTM) by its purchase of the Google Adword ‘Lush’, and by the appearance of the sign ‘Lush’ in Amazon’s own drop-down search box and on returned Amazon search results, on all occasions where it was not made clear that Amazon did not, in fact, sell any of the claimants’ products.

The judgment is a warning to online marketplace operators to ensure that consumers are clearly alerted to the fact that products for which they have searched may not be those that have been returned by the search result, and that in some cases the operator does not even sell the products of the brand searched.

The claimants are the registered proprietor and exclusive licensee of a CTM for the sign ‘Lush’ in respect of cosmetics and toiletries (class 3) and are the self-proclaimed ‘bath bomb’ inventor. Lush has always refrained from selling its products on Amazon.co.uk for ethical reasons…

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