Brand in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Maier v ASOS Plc
    • Chancery Division
    • 04 Feb 2014

    As I stated in paragraph 92 of the Main Judgment, the reason people buy Assos casual clothes is to associate themselves with the mark's reputation as a prestige brand of professional cycling wear. In my judgment there is unlikely to be any material confusion between the two marks even if ASOS started to apply its trade mark to t-shirts in a very different and more prominent way from the way it currently does.

  • Roger Maier and Another v Asos Plc and Another
    • Chancery Division
    • 19 Sep 2013

    In addition to its websites, ASOS has a strong internet presence on social media sites. As at 17 December 2012, ASOS' Facebook page had 2.2 million 'likes' or followers, making it the third-ranked retailer in the UK behind TopShop and Amazon. It also has 1.4 million followers through Google+; 430,000 followers on Twitter (second only to TopShop); 383,721 Instagram followers and 20 Pinterest boards.

    So far as the ASOS website service is concerned, is this similar to the goods covered by the Assos mark? Given the prevalence of internet clothes shopping, it is likely that an internet shopping site bearing the name of a brand of clothing will be regarded as similar to that brand of clothing for the purposes of Article 9(1)(b). However, Assos, as I have described, does not market its goods strongly online although its retailers do sell the goods from their own websites.

    Most of the goods to which Assos is likely to attach its mark are expensive and are directed at people who care about appearing stylish and athletic. Although Assos could, of course, attach its mark to mass market, cheap t-shirts, there is no suggestion that it intends to expand beyond the premium clothing sector and the few cheaper items that it currently sells.

    There is no evidence of confusion or of people discussing the two brand names in such magazines. These days consumers are not reticent about expressing their views on blogs and in chat rooms. A few examples of these have been presented as evidence but there is no reason to suppose that the instances seen are the tip of an unidentified iceberg.

    As to this last point, I do not consider that the fact that someone looks for Assos products on the ASOS website necessarily means that they think that ASOS and Assos are the same brand or that they are mistaken about whose website they are on. It may indicate simply that they think that Assos may be one of the many brands of clothing that are sold on the ASOS website, along with Fred Perry, Lacoste or Nike.

  • Specsavers International Healthcare Ltd and Others (Appellants/ Claimants) v Asda Stores Ltd (Respondent /Defendant)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 31 Jan 2012

    In my judgment the general position is now clear. In assessing the likelihood of confusion arising from the use of a sign the court must consider the matter from the perspective of the average consumer of the goods or services in question and must take into account all the circumstances of that use that are likely to operate in that average consumer's mind in considering the sign and the impression it is likely to make on him. The sign is not to be considered stripped of its context.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • Brand hate
    • Nbr. 25-1, March 2016
    • Journal of Product & Brand Management
    • 11-25
    Purpose: – This study aims to investigate the nature of brand hate, its antecedents and its outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: – The authors conduct two quantitative studies in Europe. In Stud...
  • Brand forgiveness
    • Nbr. 28-5, August 2019
    • Journal of Product & Brand Management
    • 633-652
    Purpose: This paper aims to explore and discuss the concept of brand forgiveness. It empirically assesses the relationships among three types of brand transgressions, brand forgiveness and three co...
  • Brand vulgarity
    • Nbr. 27-4, July 2018
    • Journal of Product & Brand Management
    • 404-414
    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the use of expletives and derogatory terminology in the naming structure for companies, products and brands; a marketing strategy which is growing a...
  • Brand Performance Comparatives
    • Nbr. 2-1, January 1993
    • Journal of Product & Brand Management
    • 42-50
    In traditional importance‐performance analysis, self‐reported relative importance weights and “own” brand performance ratings are combined to yield assessments of current market standing. Discusses...
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