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.