0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

fighting over flowers...

25 March 2011

M&S has purchased ‘interflora’ as an adword (a Google search for Interflora now displays an advertising link to M&S’ flower delivery service). Does M&S’ use of the word infringe Interflora’s trade mark rights?

The Advocate General has now provided an opinion in the case of Interflora v Marks & Spencer stating that a trade mark owner can forbid the use of a trade mark in such circumstances where the advertising link:

  • is liable to lead some members of the public to believe that the competitor is a member of the trade mark owner’s commercial network; and/or
  • displays or mentions the trade mark and the advertiser thereby attempts to benefit from its power of attraction, reputation or prestige

Surprisingly the Advocate General believes that the advertisement may confuse searchers in to believing that M&S is part of the Interflora network. If the court’s hypothetical searchers are so easily confused then adword purchasers will need to select their adverts very carefully.

related opinions

A brief update on probate

A new online system for probate applications was introduced in early October 2019, which will allow us to process and track applications for grants of probate online.

View blog

Supreme Court awards compensation to a Professor for an invention created during his employment

A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Shanks v Unilever PLC has supported the right for employees to receive compensation for patented inventions if the invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’.

View blog

Bailleurs et locataires, vos baux commerciaux sont-ils armés pour résister à l' épreuve du futur?

Durant les deux dernières semaines, nous avons connu vu une nouvelle vague d’annonces concernant de grandes enseignes du commerce britannique.

View blog

The importance of three magic words: subject to contract

A recent case illustrates the importance of ensuring that all emails discussing the terms of a proposed acquisition are headed ‘subject to contract’.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up