Addison and Goldbrand struck a deal at the weekend to settle their dispute over the use of the goldfish image on the Goldfish credit card. The court case was due to have started on Monday.
Addison, Goldbrand and the designer of the Goldfish card, Wolff Olins, have all agreed not to comment beyond a prepared statement. However, it is believed that the deal includes an undisclosed, substantial cash payment to Addison.
The settlement deprives the design industry of a test case on trade mark infringement of dissimilar goods as defined in the 1994 Trade Marks Act.
The joint statement by Goldbrand Development and Addison reads: “Designs for further credit cards will be modified to eliminate any potential conflict with the Addison goldfish trade mark. Wolff Olins will bear the costs of those modifications and will be working on new designs.”
More than 200 000 credit cards for Goldbrand – a joint venture between British Gas and HFC Bank – are already in circulation.
However, the modification costs are thought to be minimal as the consultancy has worked up card variations which do not feature the fish so heavily. Wolff Olins company secretary Jane Scruton is unable to comment.
Meanwhile, Addison has been retained as a consultant to Goldbrand. It is thought Addison will design Goldbrand’s annual report. A Goldbrand spokesman adds: “We have got to know Addison and we feel they can add some value to us.”
See News Analysis, page 8.