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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Stella's nude perfume in the pink with Floyd

The Telegraph was first off the blocks with breaking news of this morning's court action in the dispute between Nude Brands Limited and Stella McCartney Limited (SML) over the former's right to stop the latter using the word "nude" as part of the name of its new STELLANUDE eau de toilette.

Right: The IPKat also launched a Nude perfume, but the printers left the "k" out of "skin" ...

Nude Brand, which holds registrations for the word NUDE in many classes (see earlier IPKat post here), alleges trade mark infringement and, in today's proceedings, applied for interim injunctive relief ahead of STELLANUDE's proposed launch this Saturday. Two other defendants in this action were SML's co-venturers in the STELLANUDE launch, L'Oréal and YSL Beauté.

Mr Justice Floyd, refusing the interim relief, said at para.53 of his judgment:
"I have come to the conclusion that the balance of injustice in this case requires me to refuse the injunction. It seems to me that, in this particular case, the likely damage to SML and L'Oréal if an injunction is wrongly granted outweighs the damage to NBL if it is refused. Whilst NBL may ultimately prevail at the trial, it seems to me that an injunction and damages at that stage, though far from perfect as remedies, are more likely to be able to restore them to their rightful position than an award of damages under the cross undertaking to SML. The effect of an injunction wrongly granted against SML would be to cause a massive disruption to their business, and probably cause them to abandon use of the brand altogether. Against this I regard the likelihood of actual confusion between the products in the market place in the form in which they are currently presented as minimal. In coming to this conclusion I have not needed to attach any weight to an attack by SML on the ability of NBL to pay. Nevertheless, even though an offer to fortify the cross undertaking in damages by deposit of up to £1 million with NBL's solicitors was made, I was not persuaded that if an injunction was granted, NBL's asset position is such that the award of damages on the cross undertaking would provide full protection to SML and L'Oréal".
You can read the judgment in full, together with the pretty pictures, here.

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