Home Estate Planning Amazon liable to pay damages as Supreme Court says it targeted Brits with US ads

Amazon liable to pay damages as Supreme Court says it targeted Brits with US ads

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Amazon was found by Supreme Court to have infringed a company’s rights by allowing US branded goods to be advertised and sold on amazon.com to consumers in the UK and the EU.

Lifestyle Equities, a Dutch company, brought legal proceedings against the US e-commerce giant, alleging infringement of its registered trade marks in the UK and the EU for the words ‘Beverly Hills Polo Club’, and the following logo registered in respect of a range of goods including clothing, luggage, watches and perfumes.

This dispute relates entirely to events that occurred before the UK left the EU, when UK trademarks were part of the EU trademark system.

The company claimed that Amazon infringed its rights by allowing US brands to be advertised and sold on amazon.com to UK and EU consumers.

Its claim in England was dismissed at first instance, save to the limited extent that they had been admitted.

Despite that, Lifestyle appealed, and the Court of Appeal held that the advertisements and offers for sale of the US branded goods were targeted at consumers in the UK/EU. The Court of Appeal also granted an injunction against two of the Amazon defendants, and allowed Lifestyle to pursue an enquiry as to the damages caused by Amazon’s acts of infringement.

Amazon appealed to the Supreme Court, which on Wednesday, it unanimously dismissed Amazon’s appeal. Lord Briggs and Lord Kitchin give a joint judgment, with which the other members of the court agreed.

The highest court in the UK held that Amazon targeted consumers in the UK by displaying the US branded goods on its US website and marking them available for shipment to the UK, which in turn infringed the UK/EU trademarks.

The court ruled that the injunction and order relating to an enquiry to damages made by the Court of Appeal “therefore remain in place”.

Lifestyle instructed IP boutique firm Brandsmiths, while Amazon had London-headquartered Hogan Lovells on for its defence.

Amazon was contacted for comment.

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