Anyway the owners of the Hotel Cipriani have just won an action against the owners of the Cipriani London for trade mark infringement and passing off ( Phones 4U Ltd v Phone4U.co.uk Internet Ltd  EWCA Civ 244,  RPC 5 at :
"It was in 1879 that James LJ observed that 'the very life of a trade mark depends on the promptitude with which it is vindicated', Johnston v Orr-Ewing (1879) 13 Ch.D 434 at p. 464. Nothing has changed. Like gardens trade mark cases always get worse with neglect – even if rights are not actually lost, delay is apt to turn what would be over in a few weeks by a quick application into a mini State Trial. As here."
The defendants ran a number of defences:
- there was no likelihood of confusion because there had been no instance of confusion in the market place;
- they were merely using their own name in accordance with art 12 of the Community trade mark regulation; and that
- the Community trade mark registration was invalid because it had been obtained in bad faith.
None of these was to any avail. Mr Justice Arnold concluded that the defendants were liable for trade mark infringement and passing off and that the claimants were entitled to an injunction.
Probably the most interesting bit of the judgment is the rejection of the "own name" defence where the judge reconciled pretty niftily the ECJ's decision lat year in