Titanic Spa said it had to take the court action to clear up confusion and protect its brand.
The spa in Linthwaite has successfully fought a High Court claim to protect its rights in its name and brand.
The claim was brought against the owners of the Titanic Hotel Liverpool which opened in the summer of 2014 leading to immediate consumer confusion between the two brands. Following two years of customer confusion Property Renaissance, the operator of Titanic Spa felt it has no option, other than to proceed with litigation to protect its brand.
During a three day trial in the High Court, Titanic Spa’s lawyers set out its claim against the Titanic Hotel Liverpool for trade mark infringement and passing off. It was successful in both claims. The Judge, Mr Justice Carr, found that Titanic Spa’s registered trade mark had been infringed by the actions of the Liverpool hotel and that consumers had been confused between the two companies.
As soon as the Liverpool hotel opened in 2014, Titanic Spa began receiving calls and emails from confused customers who were under the impression that the Titanic Hotel Liverpool was part of the same operation or somehow connected to the award-winning Titanic spa.
As a result of the customer confusion they experienced, the operators of Titanic Spa felt they had no option other than to take legal action to protect the hugely successful business and brand they have built over the past 11 years. The judge held that the Titanic Hotel Liverpool would have to take various steps to reduce the likelihood of confusion. These include stopping the use of the word ‘spa’ and placing a disclaimer on its website.
Titanic Spa’s Director of Operations Amy Burton said: “The decision to go to court was not one we took lightly. We are well known in the industry and have no fear of healthy competition but we couldn’t stand by and allow our brand to be diluted in this way.
“No business owner wants to go to court, devoting resources to litigation rather than building on their success. But one of the reasons that we have been so successful, winning dozens of the industry’s most prestigious awards, is that we have invested a lot to build a strong and recognisable brand. A brand that we hope to grow in future years. All of that could have been wasted if we hadn’t been prepared to act to defend it.”
Titanic Spa’ solicitor, Jo Joyce of Taylor Wessing LLP, added: “Titanic Spa has spent over two years dealing with the customer confusion that has arisen as a result of the infringement of its intellectual property rights. We are hopeful that, in the light of this decision, changes will be made to ensure that such confusion ceases.”