Interflora claims victory in flower battle with M&S

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The Independent Online

Interflora has claimed a victory in its legal battle with Marks & Spencer over its use of the Interflora trademark as a search engine keyword for its own flowers.

The UK arm of Interflora said it was "delighted" by the Court of Justice of the European Union's ruling that a trademark is "adversely affected" where the advertisement substantially interferes with the brand's reputation and its ability to attract and retain consumers.

But the EU court's ruling left the door open to M&S winning. It said where an online advertisement, based on a keyword, provides an alternative to the goods or services of the trademarks's owner, "such use falls... within the ambit of fair competition".

The UK High Court will make a final decision over liability in 2012.