Accolade Wines has issued a High Court writ against homewear company Cath Kidston in order to protect its well-known Babycham mascot.
The iconic Babycham logo
The company has accused Cath Kidston of infringing its copyright when a “similar” deer-like creature appeared on its 2012 Christmas range last year.
The iconic Babycham logo, which became famous in the ‘70s, features a leaping baby chamois with a blue ribbon around its neck.
Accolade has also accused Kidston of risking bringing the sparkling perry brand into disrepute by associating an alcoholic drinks brand with products aimed at children.
“A drink, its packaging and any promotional material should not in any direct or indirect way have a particular appeal to under-18s,” Accolade’s barrister David Wilkinson said in the writ.
“The application of the Kidston logo to goods relevant to under-18s is liable to cause serious tarnishing to the repute of Babycham,” Wilkinson added.
Cath Kidston denies the accusation, insisting that there are no “substantial similarities” between the logos.
“While it cannot be denied that deer and chamois are both hoofed ruminants unaccustomed to wearing ribbons, the differences speak for themselves, not least arising out of the absence of horns and the springing ‘springbok’ stance,” said Kidston’s representative Philip Roberts.
The Cath Kidston Christmas deer at the centre of the battle
Accolade is seeking an injunction to prevent Cath Kidston from using the deer logo, along with “destruction” of all products marked with the logo, and an inquiry into the damage caused.
“We have been advised that Babycham’s action is without merit. We will fight these claims accordingly. As the matter is being litigated, we can make no further comment at this time,” said a spokesperson for Cath Kidston.
Accolade’s attempts to resolve the dispute outside of court were unsuccessful.
Born in Marylebone, London, in 1958, Catherine Kidston MBE is best known for her floral patterns adorning everything from aprons and egg cups to gardening gloves.
She opened her first shop in London’s Notting Hill in 1993, selling hand-embroidered tea-towels and renovated furniture.
In February 2010, the company was valued at £75m when Kidston sold a majority stake to private equity investors TA Associates, retaining a minority stake and remaining the company’s creative director.
Babycham was the first alcoholic brand and the second ever brand to be advertised on commercial television in the UK with a campaign in 1957.