Here at Wigsandgowns we love a David and Goliath story. There’s something that pulls at even the most cynical of heart strings when the little man stands up for what is right and good against a bigger and more powerful wrong. And so we were delighted to hear that Lush cosmetics, the makers of handmade and ethical cosmetics with enthusiastic if slightly annoying sales staff, has won its trademark lawsuit against Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer.
Husband and wife team Mark and Mo Constantine, founders and majority shareholders of Lush, do not allow Lush products to be sold via Amazon. However, when customers search for Lush products on Amazon, they are instead directed to ‘items related to Lush’ – which are often similar products made by Lush’s competitors. This, the company argued, constitutes trademark infringement. Constantine said Amazon’s alleged infringement of Lush’s intellectual property was a “way of bullying businesses to use its services and we refused”.
The High Court ruled that the average consumer would generally be unable to ascertain that the products listed in Amazon’s online search results were not made by Lush.
Karl Bygrave, director of regulatory affairs at Lush, said: “We believe strongly in Intellectual Property and protecting it is of prime importance to us as we grow our brand around the world. We work hard to maintain our ethical integrity in all aspects of our business. This case has been of primary strategic importance for us.”
Originally set-up in 1994, Lush now operates more than 800 stores in 51 countries. It produces and sells handmade bath products and shampoo. Following their three year dispute and last week’s verdict, Lush Retail registered the name ‘Christopher North’ as a trademark for toiletries. The shower gel, named after Amazon’s managing director, is described as “rich, thick and full of it.” The product also includes a dig at Amazon’s controversial tax arrangements: “top tip: Kindle a new love for your skin, it’s not taxing to take care of your skin with this product packed with Amazon Prime ingredients”.Way to get your own back!
Big congrats to the Constantines – may it inspire more independent business to stand up to bullys! (Yes Victoria’s Secret, we’re talking about you!)