House of Fraser in logo dispute with Jack Wills

In 2014 Jack Wills Ltd won a trademark infringement case against House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd who had been using a very similar logo for their clothing brand Linea.

The trademarked logo in question consists of a silhouetted pheasant holding a cane and wearing a top hat who is known as ‘Mr Wills’ whereas House of Fraser’s mark, first used in 2011, depicts a silhouetted pigeon wearing a bow tie and a top hat.

Jack Wills came across the infringing logo in 2012 and immediately took action to protect their mark by filing a lawsuit against the department store chain.

It wasn’t until 2014 that the High Court ruled in favour of Jack Wills and declared that their logo had been infringed upon by the  well-dressed pigeon logo used by House of Fraser. The court stated that the similarity of the marks could cause confusion for their consumers as to the source of the goods.

Following their successful case, Jack Wills claimed that they should receive the total of the House of Fraser Linea brand’s gross profits made during the period of infringement (from November 2011 to March 2013), which according to RPC totalled £591,532. However, the High Court judge declared that the fashion brand would only be entitled to 41% of the net profits acquired by the infringing party.

According to the USPTO, trademark infringement is “the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services”. Therefore if you find that another company is using the same brand as you and that their brand could easily be confused with yours then either they or you may be  guilty of trademark infringement.

When filing any type of trademark you should be sure to do your research and to complete a comprehensive search into your chosen marketplace before launching your brand to ensure that the brand you choose will not infringe upon another company’s existing brand. By doing this you could save a lot of time, money and effort in the long run which may otherwise have been spent on infringement lawsuits. A trademark is a worthwhile investment as it will protect your brand and allow you to enforce your trademark rights over other companies that may infringe upon your mark.

For advice and more information on searching, acquiring, registering and enforcing Trademarks please visit our website,

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