The family of late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott has won a legal battle against a sportswear brand over trademark rights to his name. Scott’s estate had applied to register his name as a trademark for merchandise, including clothing, sunglasses, bags, and wallets, bearing the name of the singer.
Swiss company Scott Sports had contested this application, arguing that the “Scott” trademark was too similar to their own and could lead to confusion.
The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has ruled in favour of the Bon Scott Estate, amd the trademark will now become registered.
“I am satisfied that the marks are unlikely to be mistakenly recalled or misremembered as each other,” the UKIPO hearing officer said in its verdict. “I do not consider that the average consumer would overlook the distinctive and dominant word ‘Bon’ at the beginning of the applicant’s mark.
“Consequently, I do not consider there to be a likelihood of direct confusion. I consider that, having noticed that the trademarks are different, I see no reason why the average consumer would assume that they come from the same or economically linked undertakings.”
The Bon Scott Estate had provided evidence of Bon’s UK success citing concerts and album sales, while saying that his death followng a night out in London was “a major international pop culture event and to this day remains a touchstone of rock and roll history.”
Scott Sports said their trademark had “distinctive character” due to their well-known brand status, with up to £15 million in annual UK sales. Scott Sports now have to pay £1,050 towards the the Scott Estate’s legal costs.