UK court rules rivals must share Ideal Home


UK court rules rivals must share Ideal Home

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A dispute over the ‘Ideal Home’ trademark between two media companies has ended the same way as the ‘Budweiser’ trademark row, with the mark being shared.

IPC Media, the publisher of music magazine NME and lifestyle magazine Ideal Home, filed a trademark infringement claim in 2012 over Media 10’s use of the trademark on its website for the Ideal Home Show at Olympia in London. IPC Media has since been rebranded Time Inc. UK by its US owner.

The English Court of Appeal, however, reaffirmed a ruling by the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court earlier this year that rejected IPC Media’s claim that Media 10 infringed its trademark.

The publisher claimed it set up its own home appliances retail website ‘Ideal Home Shop’ in 2009 after registering the trademark ‘Ideal Home’ in relation to the online sale of domestic appliances. The website was an off-shoot of the Ideal Home magazine established in 1920.

Media 10 bought the Ideal Home Show event organisation in 2009 from the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper, which had created a retail website a year before. Originally established in 1908 by Wareham Smith, the then advertising manager of the Daily Mail, the show began as an annual exhibition of home appliances.

Judge David Kitchin, presiding over the case, ruled that both marks can exist simultaneously. He said: “I therefore believe that this is one of those rare cases in which the use of the mark complained is indeed honest and that it has not had and will not have an adverse effect upon the essential function of the registered trademark.”

Martin Krause, representing Media 10 and a partner at Haseltine Lake, likened the decision to the Anheuser-Busch and Budějovický Budvar ruling that allowed them both to use the ‘Budweiser’ trademark for alcoholic drinks.

“Both the show and the magazine have longstanding roots in the home interest industry and the court’s original decision reflected the commercial reality for the Ideal Home name.

“Online retail of home interest products is a natural extension of the Ideal Home Show’s business and we couldn’t see how Media 10 could be stopped from growing its business in this way,” he said.

IPC Media; Time Inc. UK; Ideal Home; Media 10; trademark infringement

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