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Wednesday, 13 August 2003

INFRINGEMENT OR BUST

Quad International, the proprietor of the SCORE trade mark for erotic magazines, produces a magazine of that name devoted to the august subject of large-breasted women. Today Quad successfully obtained interim relief against Goldstar Publications Ltd’s proposed launch of SCORCH, a magazine containing coverage (or rather the lack thereof) of the same type of ladies.

Pumfrey J found that there was a serious triable issue on both registered trade mark infringement under s.10(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and passing off. On the trade mark infringement point, it was necessary to consider whether the defendant’s mark was likely to cause confusion based on the overall impression given by the sign having regard to all the factors. Here, as a matter of first impression, SCORCH was close to SCORE and so infringement was arguable. Passing off was arguable for the same reason.

To decide where the balance of justice lay, the judge held that the court could take into account future loss to the parties that would be hard to assess, even if it wasn’t uncompensatable. As a result, the interim relief sought by Quad was granted.

The IPKat says: “This seems to be a case where the two marks were phonetically and visually quite similar but were conceptually pretty different, yet the marks were found to be close so on a global appreciation the marks were found to be similar.”

How to prepare chicken breasts here
Ladies from a more innocent age here and here



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