House of Fraser taken to court by Jack Wills for Bird logo

Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Preppy fashion label Jack Wills has filed a court claims against department store group House of Fraser (HoF) due to similarities found between the labels bird logo and HoF's in-store brand, Linea's logo. Jack Wills claims that the pigeon in a hat emblem found on HoF's Linea range of clothing is too  similar to its own pheasant in a top hat with a cane trademark, which the label is known for. The preppy label also accused HoF of coping their logo design in order to boost their in-store brand's presence, as Jack Wills is becoming increasingly popular among millennial shoppers.

Jack Wills seen as a "mark of class" among its peers

Retail expert Mary Portas previously stated that the fashion label was seen as a “mark of class, wealth, even education,” among its young fans, adding that wearing the label created a sense of status and belonging between the middle to upper class audience Jack Wills is aimed at.

Although Linea's logo portrays a pigeon in a top hat, minus any cane or walking stick, Jack Wills is concerned that the resemblance between the two birds may cause “confusion” among customers, and may lead to British shoppers associating Linea with Jack Wills.

Roger Wyland QC, who is representing the preppy fashion label, states that the emblem used by HoF for Linea is a form of “passing off” and infringed the copyrights of Jack Wills' own logo. Wyland has collected two shirts and two jumpers from Linea as evidence for the court and submitted them to the judge to compare the bird themed logos.

House of Fraser defends its pigeon logo

HoF is countering the claim for “partial revocation of Jack Wills' trademark”, according to the Telegraph. The department store group highlights the number of brands such as Hollister, Le Coq Sportif and Emporio Armani, who all incorporate birds in their logos and adds that customers are able to differentiate between them without being confused or believing that the labels are connected.

A company spokesperson stated: “House of Fraser has defended its position because it doesn’t accept the arguments put forward by Jack Wills. The determination of the court case is still to be decided by the judge. Both House of Fraser & Jack Wills confirmed in court that there had been no instances of customer confusion,” adding that HoF will make no further comment regarding the court claims.

Photos: House of Fraser, Linea Logo, Jack Wills Logo

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