Trademarks, search tools and keyword advertising: Lush takes on Amazon and triumphs

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On 10 February 2014, John Baldwin QC, sitting as a deputy judge of the Chancery Division, delivered a noteworthy judgment concerning the use of trademarks in keyword advertising and in the search results returned by website search tools.

This judgment followed a bitter dispute between the prominent online retailer Amazon and the high-street cosmetics brand Lush, well known for its colourful soaps and bath bombs.

Lush was the exclusive licensee of Community Trade Mark 1388313 for the word ‘Lush’ in respect of cosmetics and toiletries in class 3. The aptly named Cosmetic Warriors was the proprietor. For the purposes of the judgment, the two were not treated as distinct…

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