A decision has been made today by the Court of Justice of the European Union over if Marks and Spencer should be allowed to use Interflora’s trademark as search engine keywords for its own flowers.
The Court of Justice came down on the side of Interflora, although the judgment of the Court of Justice needs to be applied by the High Court in the UK to determine the question of Marks & Spencer's liability. This is due in the course of 2012.
Interflora said this judgment goes much further than previous rulings by saying that the use by a competitor of a keyword identical to the trade mark in relation to identical goods or services has an adverse effect on the investment in the trade mark where that use substantially interferes with the brand's reputation and its ability to attract and retain consumers.
Michael Barringer, Interflora's marketing director, said: "This judgment backs all the hard work and effort we have put in to defending the Interflora brand. People searching the internet for "Interflora" want "Interflora, the flower experts" and no one else.
“Our brand stands for quality and service and together with our network of independent florists, we have spent the last 80 years building this reputation.”