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Jack Wills cries fowl over HoF logo

Jack Wills and House of Fraser are set to battle it out in the High Court early next year, with the  preppy young fashion chain accusing the department store of copyright infringement and passing off.

Jack Wills is looking to recover significant damages from HoF through its claim, which was first filed in November 2012. However, HoF has entered a counterclaim and is seeking damages and costs as well as the “invalidity” of Jack Wills’ trademark. The trial starts in January.

The case centres around two logos: Jack Wills’ company logo features a silhouette of a pheasant with a top hat and cane, while a logo used on HoF’s Linea range features a pigeon wearing a hat but not carrying a cane.

According to documents signed by Jack Wills sourcing director Glen Tinton, it believes HoF’s logo “is likely to cause confusion and to deceive members of the public into believing the goods marked with the logo are the goods of or are goods connected with the claimant”.

The statement said HoF’s use of the logo “takes unfair advantage of, or is detrimental to, the distinctive character or repute of [Jack Wills’] registered trademarks”.

But in response, HoF asserted that “the widespread use” of logos of birds in human attire meant either that “consumers are able to sufficiently distinguish between the numerous bird marks or logos” or that Jack Wills’ logo was “indistinguishable from other similar marks”, in which case its trademark should be revoked.

Both sides declined to comment on the case.

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