Lush wins IP case against Amazon

Sweet smell of success for former Elite Business cover stars, Mark & Mo Constantine, on their court victory

Lush wins IP case against Amazon

The husband and wife duo behind ethical and chic cosmetics company Lush have won their legal battle against Amazon in a landmark intellectual property (IP) case.

Last year the company took action against the internet giant over trademark infringement as visitors who searched the word ‘lush’ on the Amazon website were redirected to alternative products.

Amazon struck back contending that offering consumers similar products was a feature common to online shopping. But the cosmetic chain insisted that the online retailer misled customers into buying products perceived as being part of the Lush brand, whereas they do not sell their products via Amazon.

Finding in favour of Lush, the court concluded the use by Amazon of the Lush sign in the course of trade clearly damages the origin function and the advertising and investment functions of the Lush trademark”. The court went on further to say that the average consumer would generally be unable to ascertain that the goods in Amazon’s search results were not connected to Lush.

The judgment also acknowledged that Lush is a business that has successfully established a reputation for ethical trading which the company wished to preserve, and therefore they had taken the decision not to sell their goods on Amazon.

With such a significant outcome for IP rights, and for the Constantines, legal experts believe the decision will have some measurable impact on the use of brand names in internet advertising.

“This was not only about Amazon using our trademark as a keyword to generate sponsored listings on search engines, but mainly about customers,” said Karl Bygrave of Lush. “We have built worldwide recognition in our trademarks and patented products so that our customers know when they are buying Lush products. We work hard to maintain our ethical integrity in all aspects of our business. Lush is our house mark and our business is dependent upon it. We will always protect our name.” 

Dara Jegede
Dara Jegede

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