Amazon was barred by the High Court this week from using LUSH as a term on an internet search engine and on its own website search facility to point consumers to rival products. 

Lush is known for its handmade quirky soaps. Its products cannot be bought through Amazon. However, if you searched on Amazon for its products, or inserted LUSH into an internet search engine, you would have found Amazon offering rival products. 

Being ticked off by these tactics, Lush decided to tackle the internet giant and as a result, Lush has cleaned up. 

The habits of consumers are changing – internet shopping is hugely popular. As such, getting consumers to notice products online is important. Although the development of the internet has allowed the public to access products much more easily, this does not allow online traders to disregard the rights of brand owners – they would not be allowed to do so on the high street, and accordingly they should not be allowed to do so online. This is a triumph for the brand owner. 

The ability of Amazon to market products online has been hit by the victory secured by Lush. In order to avoid slipping up, online retailers will have to change their ways. 

If they do not, they face being pursued by brand owners for trade mark infringement or passing off, subjected to a claim for misleading practices under consumer protection laws, and on the receiving end of bad publicity which will take more than a bar of soap to clean up.


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