Specsavers wins legal battle with Asda over trademark infringement
Specsavers has won a Court of Appeal legal battle with supermarket giant Asda-Walmart over trademark infringement.
The battle was over an optical advertising campaign encouraging consumers to ‘be a real spec saver at Asda’ and promoting ‘spec savings at Asda’.
In April 2010, a High Court trial judge found that one of the straplines used by Asda (‘be a real spec saver at Asda’) infringed its trademarks, the Court of Appeal ruled today that the other contentious strapline (‘spec savings at Asda’) was also an infringement, as well as the use of a double-ellipse logo during the course of Asda’s campaign.
Specsavers has said that it intends to pursue a damages claim.
Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, said: “We welcome fair competition, which is good for customers but, as both the High Court and the Court of Appeal have found, Asda was deliberately mimicking our advertising and were well aware of the risks they were running.
“When we first raised this with Asda, their response was to issue a press release saying that we would have to sue them as they would not back down… so we did.
“Specsavers is a family owned company and a retail success story at home and abroad that the British public should be proud of. It has taken years and a lot of hard work to build up our identity and we will rigorously defend our brand against any infringers.
“We felt from the outset that the original judgement had been wrong in rejecting parts of our claim. This landmark decision today confirms our view.”
The Court of Appeal also ruled that some elements of the law relating to trademarks needed clarifying by the Court of Justice in Europe before the remainder of Specsavers’ appeal could be determined, and rejected one of the legal bases on which Specsavers argued its case.