Commenting ahead of John Lewis’ high court battle with children’s author Fay Evans, over 2019 Christmas ad, Charlotte Duly Head of Brand Protection at law firm, Charles Russel Speechlys said:
“2023 kicks off with another David and Goliath trade mark battle which appears to be indicative of the increasingly common trend of having a trial by media.
Dragons are a popular component of children’s stories, and for Ms Evans’ legal challenge to succeed, she will need to successfully demonstrate that a substantial part of her work was taken, not merely an idea.
Ms Evans’s book was published in 2017 and while the John Lewis advert aired two years later, it seems there is consensus amongst the parties that the retailer came up with the concept 19 months prior to publication. Nonetheless the litigation is proceeding, but it’s likely to be an uphill battle for Ms Evans if there has been no clear evidence of copying.
For John Lewis, a decision in its favour will undoubtedly discourage others who may be tempted to engage in similar battles.”