It has come to light that Lacoste, the French fashion label, launched a legal battle against a dental practice in
Cheltenhamafter the clinic applied to the Trademark Registry to secure exclusive rights to use their crocodile logo for its services.
An adjudicator at the UK Intellectual Property Office ruled that there was no likelihood of confusion between the iconic Lacoste alligator logo and the reptile image used for the dentist’s marque.
The IP Office also said that, even though there was a degree of visual similarity between the logos, the average consumer would be well aware that the dental practice was not a retail outlet.
Dr Simon Moore and Dr Timothy Rumney argued that crocodile and alligator images are in ‘widespread usage’ and used by others in the dental services field.
Lacoste was ordered to pay £1000 towards the costs of the dentists, who said it was unreasonable for a single company to expect to have sole and exclusive use of crocodile images.