House of Fraser pigeon falls fowl in Jack Wills logo ruling

News of an avian-related logo infringement has come to light this morning.

The High Court has just ruled that House of Fraser’s use of a logo on its branded clothes has infringed on Jack Wills’ famous pheasant logo, known as "Mr Wills".

The pigeon logo stepped on the toes of Mr Wills, with the judge ruling that there was a likelihood of confusion on the part of customers. It was also deemed to take unfair advantage of the trademark - "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…"

Jeremy Hertzog, IP partner at Mishcon de Reya, which was representing Jack Wills, commented:

This case is a paradigm example of a retailer sailing too close to the wind in aping the get-up of a famous brand for a lookalike product. Jack Wills had to take action to preserve the distinctiveness of its famous pheasant trade mark; had it not done so, the floodgates would have opened to a plethora of other clothing brands using emblems of birds wearing top hats and other human adornments. By winning this case, Jack Wills has marked that out as its territory alone.