House of Fraser has lost its High Court battle with Jack Wills!
The two brands were involved in a bitter dispute over the use of a bird logo. The Jack Wills’ company logo features a silhouette of a pheasant with a top hat and cane. The company sought to recover more than £25,000 from HoF. It claimed that the logo used on HoF’s Linea range which features a pigeon wearing a hat but without a cane “was likely to cause confusion and to deceive members of the public into believing the goods marked with the logo are the goods of or are goods connected with Jack Wills”.
The lawsuit also claimed that HoF’s use of the logo “takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, the distinctive character or repute of Jack Wills registered trademarks”. Roger Wyland QC, representing Jack Wills, claimed the similarity of the two logos was likely to create “confusion” among customers and presented the judge with two jumpers and two shirts for him to inspect the rival logos. He also referenced comments made by Mary Portas who recently said: “You very much have to be in the club to be wearing it” when describing it.
House of Fraser, which uses the pigeon on its Linea line, had argued that there was a widespread use of birds in clothing in industry logos and that customers are able to distinguish between the two.
Ruling in favour of Jack Wills, Justice Arnold said that “the human eye has a tendency to see what it expects to see.”
He added: ”I consider that imperfect recollection of the trademarks is likely to cause a significant proportion of consumers to believe that the pigeon logo is the same as the Mr Wills logo, or another variant of it, and hence to believe that the pigeon is the same as the Mr Wills logo emanate from the same source, or an economically linked one, as those bearing the trademarks.”
The original Jack Wills store opened in Salcombe, Devon in 1999, and has since expanded to include 60 stores in the UK and Ireland.