Brand bidding question clear- adverts must not confuse

by Bethany Day on November 12, 2014

In the long running case between Interflora and Marks & Spencer relating to M&S’s use of the trade mark “Interflora” to promote its flower delivery service via Google’s AdWord advertising programme, on 5 November 2014 the Court of Appeal confirmed that adverts appearing on the Google search results page must enable internet users to determine who posted the advert.

Bidding on the “Interflora” trade mark in the Google AdWords programme is unlawful if it does not enable reasonably well informed and reasonable observant internet users to tell whether the advert comes from Interflora or a third party.  In June 2013, the High Court ruled that M&S’s adverts which appeared as a result of its use of the AdWords programme failed this test and imposed an injunction which effectively prevented M&S bidding on the “Interflora” trade mark and forced it to negative match the keyword “Interflora”. That judgment and injunction were the subject of an appeal by M&S which was heard in July 2014.

On 12 November, the Court of Appeal determined the terms of the order which direct that there will be a retrial of the action and Interflora made an application, yet to be determined, to maintain the status quo until then.  In the meantime, the injunction against M&S remains in place.

Michael Barringer, Interflora Marketing Director said: “The court agreed with us that the protection of the Interflora trade mark raised a serious issue to be tried and confirmed the test that the lower court must apply at the retrial. Interflora continues to believe that the evidence before the Court supports a finding of infringement and we are going forward on that basis to the retrial“.

We continue to operate our brand enforcement programme to ensure that consumers who search for Interflora online see only results for the Interflora range of products and services.

To view our previous Statement on the Court of Appeal Judgment dated 5 November 2014 please click here.

For more information, please contact the Interflora team at BOTTLE PR on Interflora@bottlepr.co.uk or 01865 770381.

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INTERFLORA CASE V. M&S HEADS BACK TO THE HIGH COURT

by Bethany Day on November 5, 2014

On Wednesday, 5 November 2014, the Court of Appeal, made up of Lord Justices Kitchin, Patten and Rimer, ordered that the case be remitted to the High Court for a retrial. The order relating to the continuation of the injunction against M&S, which effectively both prevents M&S bidding on the “Interflora” trade mark and forces M&S to negative match the keyword “Interflora”, will be handed down in due course.

Michael Barringer, Interflora Marketing Director commented: “Interflora continues to believe that the evidence before the Court supports a finding of infringement and we are going forward on that basis to the retrial”.

“The Court of Appeal’s decision to ask the High Court to look at all the evidence again backs the hard work and effort that everyone at Interflora has put in to defending the Interflora brand. People searching the internet for “Interflora” want “Interflora, the flower experts” and no one else. We are very proud of the Interflora brand, and want to protect it for our customers, our florists and our future. Accordingly, we believe it is right to continue to protect the brand through this court action.”

Notes to editors

  • Established in 1923, Interflora recently celebrated its 90th anniversary as the nation’s expert flower delivery service.
  • Interflora has a network of 1,800 member florists across the UK and Ireland and is part of a wider international network which delivers to more than 150 countries world-wide.
  • Omnibus research shows that Interflora remains the UK’s most recognized and trusted flower delivery service. (Omnibus Survey April 2013)
  • In December 2008, Interflora, Inc. and Interflora British Unit initiated proceedings against Marks and Spencer plc (“M&S”) in an attempt to stop M&S from bidding on the “Interflora” trade mark in the Google advertising programme, AdWords.
  • The case was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in May 2009 to determine the test to be applied by the English High Court when deciding whether M&S’s acts amounted to trade mark infringement.
  • In September 2011, the CJEU set the test to be applied by the trial judge, Mr Justice Arnold, who found in favour of Interflora in May 2013.
  • Arnold J ruled M&S’s acts amounted to trade mark infringement on the basis that average internet users could not tell whether the adverts were placed by M&S or Interflora.  Marks & Spencer appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal which today, Wednesday, 5 November, remitted the case to the High Court for a retrial.
  • Interflora, Inc. and Interflora British Unit were represented by Iain Connor, partner at Pinsent Masons who instructed barristers Michael Silverleaf QC of 11 South Square and Simon Malynicz of Three New Square.

For more information, please contact the Interflora team at BOTTLE PR on Interflora@bottlepr.co.uk or 01865 770381.

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Chelsea Flower Show: What Happens when the Crowds go Home

by Bethany Day on May 24, 2014

Between May 19th and 24th, thousands of people flock to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to see some of the most beautiful flowers and garden designs in the world.

But what happens to all the flowers and displays once the final visitors have gone home? We take a look at some of the ways the exhibits live on after Chelsea.

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Art and Horticulture meet at Chelsea Fringe

by Bethany Day on May 23, 2014

One of the exciting things about the Chelsea Fringe is when a modern art installation and horticulture come together and ‘Tiny Taxonomy’ in Belgrave Square, Belgravia is one of those great moments.

Taxonomy is the scientific term for the naming of plants and Canadian designer Rosetta Sarah Elkin has selected a cross section of miniature examples of different plant forms to create an installation in the very exclusive private garden in Belgrave square.

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A Passion for Peonies

by Bethany Day on May 22, 2014

Belgravia, London, is I’m pleased to say, not immune to joining in with the horticultural jamboree which is the Chelsea Fringe. The place to visit is Neill Strain’s Flower Lounge where for the previous fringe Neill put on a display of rarely seen tulips, this time it’s the turn of the fabulous peony.

Who can possibly resist the pull of the peony? Big and blowsy with taffeta heads resembling the most elaborate of ball gowns in a range of glorious colours, florists love them and brides love them to. The ones on show at the Flower Lounge are simply breath-taking, the perfect place to indulge in pure peony passion.

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Flower Choreography at Chelsea Fringe

by Bethany Day on May 22, 2014

A dance studio may not seem an obvious place to house a Chelsea Fringe exhibit, but the Siobhan Davies Dance Studio is as interested in contemporary art as it is in choreography  – and the two work together surprisingly well.

Landscape designer and sculptor Daniel Lobb has created two installations, both of which rely on interaction from visitors and staff.

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St. Pancras Station goes Green for Chelsea Fringe

by Bethany Day on May 21, 2014

Taking in London’s Chelsea Fringe is a fascinating journey around some unexpected places – how about a pop-up garden, inspired by the impressionist paintings of Monet and Renoir on the Grand Terrace of St. Pancras Station? Not to be missed! Although smaller than might be imagined, (not quite Kew Gardens transported to North London), it was a welcoming green sight in the red brick and metal surrounds of the station.

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Chelsea in Bloom in Pictures

by Bethany Day on May 20, 2014

Between Monday 19th and Saturday 24th May, some of London’s premier retailers will take place in the annual Chelsea in Bloom competition.

The competition, which is held in association with the Royal Horticultural Society, takes place during the week of the Chelsea Flower Show, and this years theme  ‘Creation in Colour- a journey through fashion, food and lifestyle’, has prompted some fantastic entries and truly spectacular floral displays. Read more >>

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Another Gold for Interflora at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

by Bethany Day on May 19, 2014

Interflora team at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014We are delighted to announce that our floral design exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been awarded a Gold medal. It is the fifth prestigious medal to be won by Interflora in as many years.

The floral design exhibit named ‘Succession’ was created by a team of five young florists aged from 21 to 27 years and has been awarded a Gold medal in recognition of the floral creativity and artistry displayed in its concept and construction.

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Interflora at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

by Bethany Day on May 17, 2014

We’re delighted to be back at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a beautiful exhibit that’s designed to wow the crowds.

‘Succession’ will consist of five wire canopy frames each individually designed and adorned with beautiful flowers falling in the colour palettes of pinks, oranges and yellows. Common features connect the frames giving the exhibit a clean, fresh and cohesive appearance.

The exhibit will be created by a team of five young florists aged from 21 to 27 years, who were all selected for their passion, floristry skills and expertise.

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