Currently there’s significant activity in the lookalikes space.

The Au Vodka v NE10 Vodka (2022, EWHC 2371), focuses on bottle design ‘get-up’, arrived in the courts for an interim injunction hearing in September 2022. Au Vodka’s application was dismissed. The judgment shows that passing off—get-up claims based on shape can be challenging to bring, particularly at the interim stage, and prompts the question of whether it’s possible to bring Cofemel and copyright into the lookalikes arena.

The launch of NE10 Vodka in late August this year and the interim injunction was sought on 16 September 2022 but even in this short period of time the court felt that NE10 Vodka had established a working trade that would be wrong to unravel. This case shows how important it is for brands to monitor the market and take action promptly to prevent the launch of an allegedly infringing product before it is on the market.

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