A game of two halves: Umbro prevails in diamond mark infringement appeal | Fieldfisher
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A game of two halves: Umbro prevails in diamond mark infringement appeal

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United Kingdom

Iconic sportswear brand Umbro scored a goal in the English Court of Appeal following unsuccessful trade mark infringement proceedings brought in the High Court against online footwear brand Dream Pairs.

In the leading appeal judgment handed down on 26 January 2024 (Iconix Luxembourg Holdings Sarl v Dream Pairs Europe Inc, Top Glory Trading Group Inc [2024] EWCA Civ 29), Lord Justice Arnold found that Dream Pairs' tilted square sign was, contrary to the High Court's decision, similar to Umbro's famous "double diamond" logo registered as a trade mark protecting various goods, including sports footwear. As a result, there was a likelihood of confusion in relation to Dream Pair's use of its sign for footwear.

Pregame background

The Umbro brand (owned by claimant Iconix Luxembourg Holdings SARL) has been using its "double diamond" logo for sportswear in the UK since 1973. The sign, described as two flat and elongated diamonds, has also been used for footwear since 1987 and, in particular, for football boots:

A black and white logo

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

The defendant, Dream Pairs Europe Inc., is a US-based supplier of women's and children's footwear, primarily active online under the brand 'Dream Pairs'. Its products have been sold online in the UK since 2019, bearing a tilted round-cornered broken square with a line towards the centre ending with a closed loop forming the letter 'P' in the middle (the "DP Logo"). Dream Pairs used the DP Logo both with and without the words 'DREAM PAIRS', and the former version was registered as a UK trade mark:

However, Dream Pairs affixed the DP Logo without verbal elements to some products in its children's range, in particular sports footwear, such as trainers and football boots:

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