Judgment in Interflora Versus Marks and Spencer

               Judgment in Interflora Versus Marks and Spencer

  PR Newswire

  SLEAFORD, England, May 21, 2013

SLEAFORD, England, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

On Tuesday, 21 May 2013, the High Court of England and Wales handed down its
judgment in the long running case of Interflora, Inc. and Interflora British
Unit versus Marks and Spencer plc. Mr Justice Arnold ruled in favour of
Interflora, Inc. and Interflora British Unit, finding that Marks and Spencer's
use of the "Interflora" trade mark as a Google AdWord to advertise its M&S
Flowers & Gifts website was trade mark infringement. 

Mr Justice Arnold said: " the M &S advertisements which are the subject of
Interflora ' s claim did not enable reasonably well-informed and reasonably
attentive internet users to ascertain whether the service referred to in the
advertisements originated from [ M&S or  Interflora] ... On the contrary, as
at 6 May 2008, a significant proportion of the consumers who searched for  "
interflora "  and the other Signs, and then clicked on M&S ' s advertisements
displayed in response to those searches, were led to believe, incorrectly,
that M&S ' s flower delivery service was part of the Interflora network." 

This judgment marks the conclusion of the trial of a legal case that began in
2008 and involved hearings before the Court of Justice of European Union and
the UK Court of Appeal before finally returning to the High Court for trial. 

Rhys Hughes, president of Interflora British Unit, said " t his ruling  helps
 ensure that  when consumers search on the internet for "Interflora",  the
y can be confident in knowing that the flowers  bought online  come from  a
member of the  Interflora  network . Keyword advertising is a very powerful
tool and so it is vital for consumer protection that internet search results
take consumers  directly  to the brands they  ar e looking for . The
Interflora  brand sta nds for quality and service, a reputation we have been
building ,  with our  network of independent florists ,  since 1923 . "

The judgment means that Marks and Spencer cannot bid on the trade marked term
"Interflora" in the Google AdWords programme. The case will return to court
later in the year to determine how much Marks and Spencer must pay Interflora,
Inc. and Interflora British Unit by way of damages and costs. Each party may
seek permission to appeal.

Notes to editors

  *Established in 1923, Interflora is this year celebrating its 90 ^th
    anniversary as the nation's expert flower delivery service.
  *Interflora its marking this special anniversary at the RHS Chelsea
    FlowerShow with a floral exhibit entitled "Time Frames" which has been
    recognized with a Gold Medal. 
  *Interflora has a network of 1,800 member florists across the UK and
    Ireland and is part of a wider international network which delivers to
    more than 150 countries world-wide.
  *Omnibus research shows that Interflora remains the UK's most recognized
    and trusted flower delivery service.(Omnibus Survey April 2013)

Interflora, Inc. and Interflora British Unit were represented by Iain Connor,
 partner at Pinsent Masons who instructed barristers Michael Silverleaf QC of
11 South Square and Simon Malynicz of Three New Square. A ll enquiries should
    be directed to the Interflora Press Office on 0800-542-1891 or email
             kathryn@edenpr.co.uk   or Isabel@edenpr.co.uk 
 
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