Last week, after unsuccessful resolution, Accolade Wines Limited (“Accolade”), the company behind the iconic 70’s drink Babycham Perry, brought trade mark infringement proceedings against the popular home furnishings designer Cath Kidston. The dispute relates to the Babycham deer, considered the brand’s “mascot”, and a registered trade mark owned by Accolade. Accolade have contended that the deer recently featured in the Cath Kidston Christmas range, is confusingly similar to that of the Babycham’s mascot as it too has a ribbon around it’s neck. As such, Accolade are seeking an injunction to stop the use of the deer in the Cath Kidston range.
Accolade have also expressed distaste in the use of the deer by Cath Kidston in a range targeted towards children. Whilst this observation has been made to demonstrate the potential damage Accolade may incur as a result of a possible comparison, does this observation have the opposite effect and simply weaken the arguments of similarity due to such a disparity of brands?
It seems that Cath Kidston are not phased by this claim as they have responded to the application by stating they are not concerned and are committed to fighting this all the way. It is worth noting at this point that Cath Kidston have not used their deer as a trademark, but instead have used the deer within one of their designs. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this dispute is, particularly as the goods and services provided by both companies are incredibly different.