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INTERFLORA INC (2) INTERFLORA BRITISH UNIT v (1) MARKS & SPENCER PLC (2) FLOWERS DIRECT ONLINE LTD (2013)

A retailer had infringed a flower delivery network's trade marks under Directive 89/104 art.5(1)(a) and Regulation 40/94 art.9(1)(a) by using variations of "Interflora" as keywords on the Google AdWords referencing service. Use of the signs had an adverse effect on the origin function of the trade marks because a significant proportion of the consumers who searched for those signs were led to believe, incorrectly, that the retailer's flower delivery service was part of the competing network.

24 May 2013

 

The claimant flower delivery network (F) claimed that the defendant retailer (M) had infringed its registered trade marks for the word INTERFLORA.

[2013] EWHC 1291 (Ch)

Ch D - Arnold J

21 May 2013

Both F and M operated internet websites which took orders for the delivery of flowers. F's trade mark, INTERFLORA, had a substantial reputation. M used keyword advertising to promote its flower delivery service, using the Google AdWords referencing service. Since May 2008, it had selected variations of "Interflora" as keywords for the service, meaning that when internet users entered "Interflora" as a search term in the Google search engine an advertisement for M's flower delivery service would appear.

F submitted that (1) for the purposes of applying the "average consumer" test, the use of a sign in context was deemed to convey a single meaning even if it was understood by different people in diff...

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