Victorian Plumbing to challenge High Court ruling

Online bathroom retailer Victorian Plumbing is to launch an appeal against the recent court decision over a claim made against it by competitor brand

The case focused on the practice of bidding on competitor brand names on Google Adwords. The court decision meant that Victorian Plumbing was prevented from bidding on VictoriaPlum’s name.

However, Victorian Plumbing had its counter claim for “passing off” ruled in its favour.

Victorian Plumbing managing director Mark Radcliffe said: “Although the judge has ruled in our favour on the issue of the counterclaim, we do not agree with his decision on bidding activity. We think the impact is extremely unfair, particularly as it restrains the ability of my business to use its name.

“It should not be forgotten that we have used our name for more than 15 years, and began to use that name before our competitor began trading.

“We have worked hard to establish our own brand, which is itself very different to any competitor. Consumers looking for one brand may use the other’s name in conversation or search behaviour, but the likelihood of confusion beyond that point is unlikely.”

He concluded: “We intend to appeal the court’s decision and the judge has given us permission to bring this to the court of appeal. This action will ensure the correct decision is eventually reached.”

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