Online retailer VictoriaPlum.com has confirmed it has won a trademark case against Victorian Plumbing over an infringement relating to search engine advertising, although the latter could appeal following a successful counter-claim.
Following a trial, the High Court ruled, on 18 November 2016, that Victorian Plumbing were found liable for trademark infringement after the company paid to appear in search engine results when consumers had searched for ‘Victoria Plum’ and ‘related terms’.
The court ruled that Victorian Plumbing was spending ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum’ on adverts that have been found liable for trademark infringement.
VictoriaPlum.com has now confirmed it will look to impose a legal injunction and seek damages for lost revenues caused by the trademark dispute, following two years of legal preparations and unsuccessful mediation between the two companies.
However, as part of Victorian Plumbing’s defence, a counter-claim for passing off was pursued, with the court ruling that VictoriaPlum acted unlawfully, and it is open to Victorian Plumbing to seek damages from Victoria Plum for the losses caused by those acts.
The counter-claim against VictoriaPlum saw that they had engaged in the practice of paying to advertise in search engine results when consumers searched for ‘Victorian Plumbing’ and related terms.
During the hearing the court heard from VictoriaPlum.com founder Jason Walker and Mark Radcliffe managing director of Victorian Plumbing.
Paul McClenaghan chief executive officer at VictoriaPlum.com welcomed the ruling stating: “The court found that Victorian Plumbing acted unlawfully, infringed our trademarks and was increasing and exacerbating confusion for customers. We were left with no option but to take legal action against Victorian Plumbing to protect our customers and we are pleased that our concerns have been vindicated. We will now seek substantial damages from Victorian Plumbing through continued legal action.”
Mark Radcliffe, Victorian Plumbing managing director said: “We are glad that the initial stage of our dispute with VictoriaPlum is over. The court’s decision is being reviewed by our legal team and aspects of the ruling may be appealed.”
Established in 2001, VictoriaPlum.com is an online bathroom and bedroom retailer. The company traded under the name Victoria Plumb up until 21 July 2015, when it was rebranded as VictoriaPlum.com.