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HoF's pigeon logo shot down by Jack Wills

House of Fraser has lost a legal battle against Jack Wills over the two business’ avian logos.

Jack Wills had originally taken action against the department store’s use of a pigeon logo , which was being used on a selection of men’s clothing in its own-brand Linea range.

HoF then counter-sued, calling for the young fashion brand’s copyright on the image - a pheasant in a top hat and carrying a cane, known as Mr Wills – to be invalidated.

HoF Jack Wills pigeon pheasant logos

HoF Jack Wills pigeon pheasant logos

The case was heard last week and this morning the judge, Mr Justice Arnold, found in Jack Wills’ favour.

Arnold found that HoF’s logo was too similar to Jack Wills’ and agreed with the latter that confusion could arise as a result.

The judge said it was “a classic case of a retailer seeking to enhance the attraction of its own brand goods by adopting an aspect of the get-up of prestigious branded goods.”

Jeremy Hertzog, IP Partner at Mishcon de Reya and part of Jack Wills’ legal team, said: “This case is a paradigm example of a retailer sailing too close to the wind in aping the get-up of a famous brand for a lookalike product.  

“Jack Wills had to take action to preserve the distinctiveness of its famous pheasant trade mark; had it not done so, the floodgates would have opened to a plethora of other clothing brands using emblems of birds wearing top hats and other human adornments. By winning this case, Jack Wills has marked that out as its territory alone.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • Quite right too,

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  • This win for Jack Wills will not help House of Fraser's plans for a flotation or trade sale.

    Stephen Sidkin, Fox Williams LLP

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