The ongoing legal case between M&S and Interflora has finally been settled, with the high court ruling in favour of Interflora. M&S have been embroiled in a legal battle with the flower company since 2008, due to their use of the term Interflora within their Google Adwords campaigns. M&S have been advertising their flowers and gifts website using Interflora’s brand name to attract consumers, which has infringed on Interflora’s trademark.
Justice Arnold said: The M&S advertisements which are the subject of interflora’s claim did not enable reasonably well informed and reasonably attentive internet users to ascertain whether the service referred to in the advertisements originated from [M&S or Interflora]…On the contrary, as at 6 May 2008, a significant proportion of the consumers who searched for “interflora” and the other signs, and then clicked on M&S’s advertisements displayed in response to those searches, were led to believe, incorrectly, that M&S’s flower delivery was part of the interflora network”.
The decision which has been passed is good news for Interflora. It means that when a consumer clicks on an “Interflora” ad, they can be confident that they’re getting their product directly from the Interflora network. As keyword advertising within Google is so powerful, it’s unfair for a company to cash in on another brands term and direct them somewhere else, thus grabbing their potential customers. As a result, the case will return to court later to determine how much M&S must pay in damages to Interflora.