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Similar but not the same

Online shopping has created new challenges for companies looking to protect their brands. Carrollanne Lindley and Alexandra Pygall discuss the latest high-profile case

14 April 2015

Cyclists will know of Assos. Fashionistas will know of ASOS. So what happens when the two brands go head-to-head?

The decision has now come out from the Court of Appeal in respect of the appeals and cross-appeals from the High Court judgment of Mrs Justice Rose. The claimants are the owners of the Assos cycling clothes company. They sell clothing in 37 countries worldwide, including 15 member states of the EU. The sales take place primarily through specialist cycling stores. In order to maintain a high-quality brand image, Assos has not encouraged sales on the internet and does not have an online store. Assos owns a community trade mark (CTM) registration for this mark in classes 3, 12, and 25. The specification of goods in the later class reads ‘clothing, footwear, and headgear’.

ASOS was founded in 1999, originally under the name ‘As Seen On Screen’....

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