Lush wins trademark fight against Amazon at the High Court

Bournemouth Echo: TRADEMARK: The Lush factory at Hamworthy TRADEMARK: The Lush factory at Hamworthy

POOLE cosmetics firm Lush has won a High Court victory over online giant Amazon, which it accused of infringing its trade-marks.

Lush does not sell via Amazon and said the internet retailer was misleading customers into thinking they were buying Lush products.

Lush objected to the fact that visitors typing “lush” into Amazon UK’s search box were directed to other brands of cosmetics.

Amazon also ran a Google AdWords campaign, showing customers’ products from rival brands when they typed in the keywords “Lush bath products”.

The court decided that Lush had established its trademarks had been infringed and that the average consumer would gen-erally be unable to ascertain the goods in Amazon’s search results were not connected to Lush.

The court held that the “right of the public to access tech-nological developments does not allow a trader such as Amazon to ride roughshod over intellectual property rights, to treat trade-marks such as Lush as no more than a generic indication of a class of goods in which the con-sumer might have an interest”.

Karl Bygrave of Lush said: “This was not only about Amazon using our trademark as a keyword to generate sponsored listings on search engines, but mainly about customers.

“When customers were on the Amazon site, they were unable to tell that our products are not sold on Amazon and therefore bought products believing them to have been Lush products when they were not.

“In just the same way that Amazon prides itself on being innovative, so do we.

“We have built worldwide recognition in our trademarks and patented products so customers know they’re buying Lush products.

“We work hard to maintain our ethical integrity in all aspects of our business. Lush is our house mark and our business is dependent upon it.

“We will always protect our name.”

An Amazon spokesman said only: “We plan to appeal this.”

Lush was founded in the 1980s by Mark and Mo Constantine, who set up the Herbal Hair and Beauty Clinic in Poole High Street and supplied cosmetics to the Body Shop in their early days.

The Lush brand name was established in the 1990s and a branch in London’s King’s Road helped turn the company into a worldwide success after celebrities such as Madonna and Julia Roberts were spotted shopping there.

Comments (6)

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11:38am Wed 12 Feb 14

speedy231278 says...

But when searching for things, search engines search for all the keywords entered. So if there were no 'lush bath products', there results would simply show bath products instead.
But when searching for things, search engines search for all the keywords entered. So if there were no 'lush bath products', there results would simply show bath products instead. speedy231278

12:04pm Wed 12 Feb 14

BmthNewshound says...

Congratulations to Lush but its not just Amazon who are cashing in on their brand. I've just googled Lush bath products and the first result on the list was a paid for Ad for The Body Shop.
.
Amazon and eBay together with Google are making it virtually impossible for smaller companies to get a decent listing on Google without paying out huge amounts to Goggle.
Congratulations to Lush but its not just Amazon who are cashing in on their brand. I've just googled Lush bath products and the first result on the list was a paid for Ad for The Body Shop. . Amazon and eBay together with Google are making it virtually impossible for smaller companies to get a decent listing on Google without paying out huge amounts to Goggle. BmthNewshound

12:49pm Wed 12 Feb 14

nickynoodah says...

no bath wont be making enquiries
not now or ever
no chance
no bath wont be making enquiries not now or ever no chance nickynoodah

3:36pm Wed 12 Feb 14

John T says...

Full Marks, Lush, for taking on the mighty (unethical) Amazon and winning.
Good luck to the little man when the appeals come flowing in from Amazon!
Full Marks, Lush, for taking on the mighty (unethical) Amazon and winning. Good luck to the little man when the appeals come flowing in from Amazon! John T

11:38pm Wed 12 Feb 14

David Graham says...

speedy231278, they were objecting to the single term of “Lush” being used which directs you to other Cosmetics brands, thus Amazon must had built in a level of intelligence. I agree with you that if one typed “Lush Bath” you would expect to get 'Bath' products displayed and in this case Lush is a generic dictionary term and not a brand once zero results are returned (ie they don't sell Lush products).
speedy231278, they were objecting to the single term of “Lush” being used which directs you to other Cosmetics brands, thus Amazon must had built in a level of intelligence. I agree with you that if one typed “Lush Bath” you would expect to get 'Bath' products displayed and in this case Lush is a generic dictionary term and not a brand once zero results are returned (ie they don't sell Lush products). David Graham

1:17pm Thu 13 Feb 14

speedy231278 says...

David Graham wrote:
speedy231278, they were objecting to the single term of “Lush” being used which directs you to other Cosmetics brands, thus Amazon must had built in a level of intelligence. I agree with you that if one typed “Lush Bath” you would expect to get 'Bath' products displayed and in this case Lush is a generic dictionary term and not a brand once zero results are returned (ie they don't sell Lush products).
If one is searching for Lush products (which are anything but), then it is obvious one is after overpriced, stinking soap products. It makes perfect sense to return results for same if you do not have any my that particular manufacturer, provided said products are not being sold using that brand name.

As an aside, how many people might use the name Hoover to search for a vacuum cleaner?
[quote][p][bold]David Graham[/bold] wrote: speedy231278, they were objecting to the single term of “Lush” being used which directs you to other Cosmetics brands, thus Amazon must had built in a level of intelligence. I agree with you that if one typed “Lush Bath” you would expect to get 'Bath' products displayed and in this case Lush is a generic dictionary term and not a brand once zero results are returned (ie they don't sell Lush products).[/p][/quote]If one is searching for Lush products (which are anything but), then it is obvious one is after overpriced, stinking soap products. It makes perfect sense to return results for same if you do not have any my that particular manufacturer, provided said products are not being sold using that brand name. As an aside, how many people might use the name Hoover to search for a vacuum cleaner? speedy231278

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