By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
Prince Harry has lost a trademark dispute with the Italian Company, Invicta, over his application to register the name Invictus as a trademark for use on clothing.
Invicta was founded in 1906 and is well known for its back packs, clothing (including t-shirts and polo shirts) and footwear (including sneakers).
In 2014, the Prince founded the Invictus Games, which are an international multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans.
At a hearing in London, it was claimed that Invictus was synonymous with Prince Harry, but the hearing officer, Leisa Davies, held that consumers would not automatically make that connection with the Prince’s charity.
She also held that common letters in the names would give rise to a “likelihood of confusion” and ordered the charity to pay £1,600 towards the legal costs of the Italian fashion company.
The company had argued that members of the public would be likely to understand the name Invictus as “constituting alternative versions of the same Latin-derived word.”
As the old saying has it: ‘what’s in a name?’