Brand Republic reports that accountants Cooper Parry have settled their case against Barclays. The dispute arose over the slogan “Now there’s a thought”. Barclays began to use it as a slogan for its new advertising campaign. Regional accountant Cooper Parry objected that it had been using the slogan for five years and brought a passing off action, claiming that Cooper Parry had “hijacked” its strapline. A trial date was fixed for December, though an interim injunction was refused (according to Cooper Parry because it could not afford to provide a cross-undertaking in damages). Under the terms of the settlement, Barclays will be able to go ahead with the campaign. According to Barclays:
"Barclays is happy to confirm that Cooper Parry is an independent company and that we never had any intention of implying otherwise. Our advertising campaign will continue with the first airing this Friday of the third of four ads."Cooper Parry said:
""Barclays has acted rapidly to address our concerns in this atter and at the end of the day we accept that no harm was intended. We can all now get back to what we do best -- helping our clients achieve their business goals."
Annoying Jeremy - now there's a thought...
The IPKat says that it’s always tricky when a bigger company (often innocently) starts using a trade mark that coincides with that of a smaller company, particularly if the earlier right is unregistered. There is a risk that the bigger company’s access to the media will destroy the efficacy of the earlier mark, but the bigger company may have had no way of finding out about the existence of the smaller company. Merpel observes that the more that companies employ banal phrases as their trade marks, there more chance there is that someone will have got there first and will be using it, albeit on a small scale.
Thanks to Simon Haslam for pointing out this story.