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Insights from Amazon's UK Legal Battle

Insights from Amazon's UK Legal Battle

Reuters reports that Amazon has lost its appeal in a case involving the ‘targeting’ of UK shoppers.

In deciding that Amazon was targeting UK shoppers, the UK Supreme Court ruled that Amazon was infringing the trademark rights of Lifestyle Equities CV, the owner of the UK and EU trademarks ‘BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB’.

Amazon was selling US branded goods bearing the mark ‘BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB’ which were produced by an unrelated entity that owns the US trademark BEVERLY HILLS POLO CLUB.

Consequently, Amazon was selling identical goods to those that Lifestyle Equities was selling in the UK and for which it held the registered trademarks in the UK and EU.

Amazon marketed and sold these USA Branded Goods on its US website, indicating that the US branded products were available for delivery to the UK. Boxes on the site stated: "Deliver to United Kingdom" as soon as the site detected that a user was UK based.

Hence, “Amazon did target the UK as a destination for the U.S. branded goods”, said the Supreme Court.

This case highlights the importance of thinking globally, and strategically about trademarks.

Trademarks protect your revenues. If third parties secure a trademark registration in the same name as you’re using in their own country then you will be infringing on their rights if you promote your products and services to customers in that country.

I’d recommend deciding whether to extend your trademark rights to other countries. For help with international trademarking, and setting your strategy, do get in touch. International trademarks are my area of focus.

And, I’ll be shooting a video about this case in Friday’s newsletter, so if it raises any questions for you, do send me a quick email.