Asda la Vista—Specsavers v Asda spectacle is over

Asda la Vista—Specsavers v Asda spectacle is over

In the final chapter of the long-running trade mark dispute between Specsavers and Asda, the Court of Appeal upholds Specsavers’ logo trade mark (Specsavers International Healthcare Ltd v Asda Stores Ltd (Registrar of Trade Marks Intervening) [2014] EWCA Civ 1294)

A brief history of Specsavers and Asda

This case is the final chapter in long-running trade mark litigation following Asda’s 2009 advertising campaign for its optical services which used a double oval shaped green and white logo similar to Specsavers’ green and white double oval logo. Following a claim for trade mark infringement bought by Specsavers, the High Court ruled largely in favour of Asda (though there was one finding of trade mark infringement) (see Specsavers International Healthcare Ltd v Asda Stores Ltd [2010] EWHC 2035 (Ch)). Not only did Specsavers lose on most grounds of their infringement claim, they also faced revocation of their wordless logo mark (below) on the basis of non-use.

The wordless logo mark

The shaded logo mark

The matter progressed to the Court of Appeal who gave judgment on various aspects of Specsavers’ appeal. On the issue of Specsavers’ appeal against the order for revocation of the wordless mark, and in respect of the allegation that Asda’s logo infringed the wordless logo mark, the Court of Appeal made a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (see Specsavers International Healthcare Ltd v Asda Stores Ltd (No 2) [2012] EWCA Civ 494). The key issues before the CJEU were:

  1. Does use of the shaded logo mark constitute use of the wordless logo mark?
  2. Should the colour green, always used by Specsavers, be taken into account when assessing infringement of the wordless logo mark, even though it was registered in black and white?

The CJEU’s ruling is summari

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