Victorian Plumbing to launch court appeal

19 Dec, 16

Appeal against bidding on Adwords

Online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing is set to appeal against a court judgment brought against them by rivals Victoria Plum for trademark infringement.

Victoria Plum launched legal action against Victorian Plumbing bidding on its name as an Adword Search term.

Justice Henry Carr said Victoria Plum’s trademarks rights were infringed by competitor Victoria Plumbing, when it bid for and displayed keyword adverts for its business on Google’s search engine.

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However, as part of its defence, Victorian Plumbing issued a counter claim against Victoria Plum, which had paid to advertise in search engine results for Victorian Plumbing, which was upheld.

In his ruling, Justice Carr said Victorian Plumbing had “sufficient goodwill in the ‘Victorian Plumbing’ name to enable it to bring a passing off action.”

Managing director of Victorian Plumbing Mark Radcliffe stated: “Although the judge has ruled in our favour on the issue of the counterclaim, we do not agree with his decision on bidding activity. We think the impact is extremely unfair, particularly as it restrains the ability of my business to use its name.

“It should not be forgotten that we have used our name for more than 15 years, and began to use that name before our competitor began trading.”

Victorian Plumbing does not accept the familiarity between the brands and consider it to be isolate to name only.

Mark Radcliffe continued: “We have worked hard to establish our own brand, which is itself very different to any competitor. Consumers looking for one brand may use the other’s name in conversation or search behaviour, but the likelihood of confusion beyond that point is unlikely.

“We intend to appeal the court’s decision and the judge has given us permission to bring this to the court of appeal. This action will ensure the correct decision is eventually reached.”