The Court of Appeal has rejected Advantage Group's appeal against a lower court ruling that it had infringed on Advantage Computer's trademark.
Advantage Computers had successfully defended its trademark in a lengthy court battle that began in 1999.
Advantage Computers has been trading under that name since 1986, filing its trademark application in 1992. Advantage Group grew out of a conglomeration of companies and used the name Advantage Group from 1994 onward, although the judge in the original case, Judge Chambers, ruled that Advantage Group did not compete directly with Advantage Computers until later.
"That situation did not come about until 1999 when Advantage Group changed commercial direction," writes Chambers in his ruling.
Advantage Group appealed the decision, on three grounds according to the appeal ruling.
"They contend that the judge was wrong to find that the trademark 'advantage' was sufficiently distinctive to be registered in respect of all of the goods and services covered.
"They contend also that the judge tested the question whether the marks were wrongly registered, contrary to section 16 of the Trade Marks Act 1953 ... as at the wrong date.
"If those grounds are unsuccessful, they say the judge was wrong to find infringement, rejecting their defence that their use of 'Advantage' was bona fide use of their own name within s12(a) of the Act."
All three grounds were rejected by the court and the original judgement, which requires Advantage Group to cease using the name in areas that overlap with Advantage Computers' markets. Advantage Computers is granted leave to apply for damages or for an "account of profits" from Advantage Group.