Amazon has lost a High Court case which ruled that it infringed the trademark of beauty firm Lush by diverting customers to similar products through online searches.
Lush, which does not stock products on Amazon, complained that the etailer was using search adverts to target people searching for its products and diverting them towards similar items stocked on its site.
Lush director of regulatory affairs Karl Bygrave said: “We believe strongly in intellectual property and protecting it is of prime importance to us as we grow our brand around the world. We work hard to maintain our ethical integrity in all aspects of our business. This case has been of primary strategic importance for us.”
Simon Chapman, partner Lewis Silkin, which represented Lush in the case, said: “Today’s judgment provides much needed clarity with regards exactly how far third parties can go in their use of trade marks to generate sponsored advertisements or direct web-traffic for commercial gain unrelated to the trademark owner.
“There is no doubt that many online retailers will need to reconsider their approach with regards the promotion of and marketing activity in support of alternative products to ensure they do not fall foul of today’s important precedent”
The ruling follows a case last year where florist Interflora successfully sued Marks & Spencer over the use of Interflora as a keyword to trigger search results for its flower delivery service.