Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tesco win web trademark case

Tesco have won a trademark dispute against a company which sent customers to you'll never guess who..., Tesco.

You see Tesco started a scheme through which

"third party website providers could become Tesco affiliates, placing links from their website transferring consumers to Tesco's own website. Tesco would then pay commission to the affiliate in respect of sales so generated. Elogicom became one such affiliate. However, instead of throwing a link from its own website to that of Tesco, it registered a number of its own websites which included the word word ‘tesco’ in the URL. Consumers arriving at those unauthorised websites were taken directly to a Tesco site; any sales made through accessing those sites would earn Elogicom commission.

Tesco sued for trade mark infringement, seeking summary judgment and seeking injunctive relief...

On the merits, the IPKat is struggling a little to understand what's going on. For example, if Elogicom's use of the Tesco marks had the effect of sending consumer traffic directly to Tesco's own website, must we say that consumers (i) intend to deal directly with Tesco but (ii) they are confused into dealing directly with Tesco? Merpel agrees and adds, is it any different from a trader putting up a sign in the street reading "This way to Tesco", which enables consumers to get directly to the supermarket?"

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