20 February 2013
Babycham has launched legal proceedings against the British homeware company Cath Kidston, claiming its use of a baby deer with a ribbon on its neck infringes the drinks firm’s copyright.
This Christmas Cath Kidston produced a range of goods using an image which Babycham feel is too similar to their iconic baby chamois. The High Court writ also claims that the appearance of the logo on Cath Kidston products aimed at under-18s, associates Babycham ‘with a blatant disregard for industry codes of practice to protect children’. The company is seeking an injunction to stop Cath Kidston using the image, plus destruction of all products to which the image is applied.
Cath Kidston denies confusing customers, insisting that – although its seasonal deer image and the Babycham logo are both ‘hoofed ruminants, unaccustomed to wearing ribbons’ – there is no confusing similarity between the two. Their lawyer insists ‘The differences in the manner of execution speak for themselves, not least . . . the absence of horns and the springing “springbok” stance.’
Babycham was the first alcoholic brand and the second ever brand to be advertised on commercial television in the UK with a campaign in 1957 and they have commonly used the image of a baby chamois with a red ribbon tied around its neck. Cath Kidston has been using a logo on a range of goods, which depicts a baby deer with a ribbon tied around its neck, which Babycham feels is substantially similar to their logo.
Babycham claims that;
'The use in the course of trade of the Kidston Logo without due cause in relation to goods similar to those for which the registered marks are registered, takes unfair advantage of, and is detrimental to, the distinctive character and repute of the Babycham logo.
'A drink, its packaging and any promotional material or activity should not in any direct or indirect way have a particular appeal to under-18s. The use of the Kidston Logo includes use on products relevant to under 18s, such as children's clothes.
'The application of the Kidston Logo to goods relevant to under-18s is liable to cause serious tarnishing and detriment to the repute of Babysham by associating (it) in the minds of the public and trade with a blatant disregard for industry codes of practise to protect children.'
Cath Kidston Ltd denies that the two logos are substantially similar or have confused shoppers. In their view the various images of young deer used in their 2012 Christmas campaign are not similar to the springing chamois goat-antelope with a blue ribbon tied round its neck used by Babycham.
Whichever way the decision goes it is going to cost someone deer!
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