Pinsent Masons advises Interflora on High Court win

23 May 2013 | 09:14 am | 1 min. read

International law firm Pinsent Masons has successfully advised Interflora on its High Court battle with Marks and Spencer plc. over the use of Google AdWords.

On Tuesday, 21 May 2013, the High Court of England and Wales handed downits judgment in the long running case of Interflora, Inc. and InterfloraBritish Unit versus Marks and Spencer plc.  Mr Justice Arnold ruled infavour of Interflora, Inc. and Interflora British Unit, finding thatMarks and Spencer's use of the "Interflora" trade mark as a GoogleAdWord to advertise its M&S Flowers & Gifts website was trade markinfringement.  

Mr Justice Arnold said:

"the M&S advertisements which are the subject of Interflora's claim didnot enable reasonably well-informed and reasonably attentive internetusers to ascertain whether the service referred to in the advertisementsoriginated from [M&S or Interflora] ... On the contrary, as at 6 May2008, a significant proportion of the consumers who searched for"interflora" and the other Signs, and then clicked on M&S'sadvertisements displayed in response to those searches, were led tobelieve, incorrectly, that M&S's flower delivery service was part of theInterflora network."  

This judgment marks the conclusion of the trial of a legal case thatbegan in 2008 and involved hearings before the Court of Justice ofEuropean Union and the UK Court of Appeal before finally returning tothe High Court for trial.  

Rhys Hughes, president of Interflora British Unit, said: 

"This ruling helps ensure that when consumers search on the internet for"Interflora", they can be confident in knowing that the flowers boughtonline come from a member of the Interflora network.  Keywordadvertising is a very powerful tool and so it is vital for consumerprotection that internet search results take consumers directly to thebrands they are looking for.  The Interflora brand stands for qualityand service, a reputation we have been building, with our network ofindependent florists, since 1923."

Iain Connor, a Partner who led the Pinsent Masons team advising on thecase, said:

"It seems prescient that in the week of the Chelsea Flower show, thecourt has decided in favour of Interflora, ruling that M&S infringed the'Interflora' trade mark by using it to promote M&S flowers on theinternet using the Google AdWords programme. I am delighted forInterflora which has worked very hard for this decision in the fiveyears since this action began."

The judgment means that Marks and Spencer cannot bid on the trade markedterm "Interflora" in the Google AdWords programme.  The case will returnto court later in the year to determine how much Marks and Spencer mustpay Interflora, Inc. and Interflora British Unit by way of damages andcosts.  Each party may seek permission to appeal.

Latest press releases

Show me all press releases

More Mindful Business Charter signings on World Mental Health Day

On World Mental Health day and, one year since the launch of the Mindful Business Charter (MBC), 17 more organisations are adopting the Charter's pledge to change avoidable working practices that can affect mental health and wellbeing.

Pinsent Masons ranked as a Top 75 employer for social mobility

International law firm Pinsent Masons has retained its ranking as one of the top 75 employers in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2019.

Pinsent Masons launches dedicated Legal and Project Management division

International law firm Pinsent Masons has today announced the launch of its Client and Legal Project Management division to help support delivery of matters on time and on budget.

People who viewed this press release also viewed

Show me all press releases

Pinsent Masons ranked among the most innovative law firms in Europe

Board member recognised as most innovative lawyer in Europe

Pinsent Masons announces AI pilot to provide novel insights to clients using machine learning

International law firm Pinsent Masons is currently running a pilot programme with machine learning company Genie AI as it marks its next step in using AI tools for contract analysis.

55% of FTSE100 currently fail to publicly mention tax evasion – lack of clear policy could concern stakeholders

A third of financial services firms in the FTSE100 have no mention of tax evasion in their published documentation

For all media enquiries, including arranging an interview with one of our spokespeople, please contact the press office on

+44 (0)20 7418 8199 or 

Location contacts