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‘Ideal Home’ v ‘Ideal Home Show’ - Online Trade Mark War

Jun 16, 2015

The publishers of the iconic and ever popular Ideal Home magazine clashed with the entirely unconnected operators of the equally well known Ideal Home Show in a bitter trade mark dispute after both of them branched out into online shopping.

The publishers had registered the words Ideal Home as a trade mark in preparation for the grand opening of their Ideal Home Shop on the Internet in 2009. However, trouble brewed in 2012 when the Ideal Home Show Shop made its appearance on the web. Although the public had long laboured under the misapprehension that the magazine and the show were connected, the publishers viewed this development as a major departure from the status quo and launched proceedings.

The publishers plea that the show’s operators had infringed their rights was rejected by a judge, as was the latters claim that the trade marks register should be rectified to remove the Ideal Home mark. Both challenged the parts of the decision which went against them but had their arguments rejected by the Court of Appeal.

The Court upheld the judge’s conclusion that, although the rival online shops might well give rise to some public confusion, that was only to be expected as a result of the parties concurrent trading in similar markets over very many years. It was for the parties to take steps to minimise that confusion by taking appropriate measures to distinguish the appearance of their online businesses from each other.


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