1/27/2012 : Outcome of three-year court battle decided but costs to still be awarded in further hearing
British online gambling company 32Red has won its three-year trademark infringement battle against bookmaker William Hill following a judgment handed down by the British Court of Appeals this week.
Successful in its trademark action against William Hill in the High Court of Justice during October last year, 32Red again defended its intellectual property rights when William Hill appealed the decision.
The appeal which took place on 5th and 6th December 2011 found William Hill's 32Vegas business (subsequently renamed 21Nova) guilty of infringing two of 32Red's trade marks despite the bookmaker applying to have the "32Red" and "32" trademarks invalidated.
"A full-scale, wide-ranging attack on the Judge's analysis and conclusions on virtually every aspect of his judgment” was how the Court of Appeals described the case, ruling that William Hill took unfair advantage of 32Red's recognised trademarks.
The Appeal was dismissed in its entirety by the court and 32Red was awarded costs associated with the appeal, and an initial amount of GBP 70 000 payable within 14 days.
A further High Court hearing is scheduled for early next year to assess damages and cost liabilities related to the original case.
Commenting on the result, Ed Ware, chief executive officer of 32Red, said: "We are delighted that the Court of Appeal has categorically dismissed William Hill's appeal. The success of our cross-appeal is also very satisfying. Quite correctly, the Court of Appeal's judgment also supported the view that taking advantage of a well known brand such as 32Red is not acceptable.
"This judgment further underlines our Intellectual Property Rights and should deter other operators from infringing our trade marks. We are now focused on concluding this matter with William Hill and have already begun preparations for the inquiry into damages."