Addison is suing British Gas and HFC Bank for alleged trademark infringement of the goldfish symbol for their joint venture credit card business.
Last week Addison won High Court approval for a speedy hearing which has been set for mid-January. The 1994 Trademark Act covers the use of the same or similar marques by different brands irrespective of sector.
“For eight years we have had a tremendous amount of novelty and a unique quality with our goldfish,” says an Addison spokesman. “All that investment has been eroded… because it has been swamped by the sheer power of the British Gas campaign. What do you think would have happened if the situation had been reversed?”
A spokesman for the Goldfish credit card joint venture company, named Goldbrand, says the company has taken legal advice and does not accept the allegations made by Addison in respect of the goldfish designs.
The Goldfish credit card name and logo, created by Wolff Olins, will continue to be used, says the Goldbrand spokesman.