James Mellor QC and Maxwell Keay appeared for the Claimants and Tom Moody-Stuart QC and Tom Jones appeared for the Defendants in a trial concerning the trade marks EAGLE RARE and AMERICAN EAGLE. Sazerac alleged that the sale of Halewood’s bourbon under the name “American Eagle” was an infringement of its UK and EU trade marks for EAGLE RARE in class 33. It also alleged that Halewood’s AMERICAN EAGLE trade mark was invalidly registered by reason of its earlier rights.
The High Court found infringement under s.10(2)/art.9(2)(c) and under s.10(3)/art.9(2)(b) detriment to distinctive character. In the result, Halewoods’ UK trade mark for AMERICAN EAGLE was declared invalid.