House of Fraser has lost a court battle with upmarket clothing brand Jack Wills over the use a pigeon logo, leaving the retailer open to the potential for a substantial damages claim.
High Court judge Mr Justice Arnold ruled that the retailer’s use of the logo – a pigeon wearing a hat - was “a classic case of a retailer seeking to enhance the attraction of its own-brand goods by adopting an aspect of the get-up of prestigious branded goods, in this case an embroidered logo.”
Jack Wills products, which use a pheasant wearing a hat and holding a cane as their emblem, are said to be favoured by Prince Harry and are popular with the higher classes. Mary Portas previously described the brand label as a “mark of class, wealth, even education”.
House of Fraser claimed that there was widespread use of birds in clothing industry logos and customers were able to distinguish between them.
However, the court ruled that the retailer’s logo “took unfair advantage” of the Jack Wills fashion label.
Although House of Fraser stopped using the pigeon logo last year, it had already sold around 20,000 products with the logo on them.