Amazon loses trademark infringement case with cosmetics retailer ‘Lush’

Ruling against the online retailer Amazon, the High Court pronounced that Amazon had in fact breached the trademark of cosmetics company Lush by trying to divert the customers to similar products through online search results.

 Lush does not sell its products on Amazon and the filing was launched in response to the online retailer using search methods to target people searching for the Lush brand online and diverting them towards similar products stocked by Amazon.

The ruling made by the High Court said that such adverts would make it difficult for an average consumer to ascertain whether the products listed in Amazon’s online search results were in fact made by Lush or not.

The Director of regulatory affairs at Lush, Mr. Karl Bygrave 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.”

Lewis Silkin LLP partner, Mr. Simon Champman, who represented Lush in the case added, “Today’s judgment provides much needed clarity with regards to exactly how far third parties can go in their use of trademarks to generate sponsored advertisements or direct web-traffic for commercial gain unrelated to the trademark owner.”  He also said in the statement that, “There is no doubt that many online retailers will need to reconsider their approach with regards the promotion of and marketing activity in support of alternative products to ensure they do not fall foul of today’s important precedent.”

There was a similar ruling last year where Marks & Spencer lost a case to Interflora for trademark infringement under similar circumstances.

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