Russell Corp., the makers of Russell Athletic, lost a copyright infringement lawsuit in the United Kingdom against actor and comic Russell Brand, according to a report in the scotsman.com. Brand, 35, applied to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in 2008 to register his name as a trademark on a range of products including apparel, footwear and headgear.
Russell, with European headquarters in Livingston, Scotland, had filed a copyright lawsuit against the actor. It claimed that the similarity between the two names would cause confusion in the marketplace and hurt its sales in the United Kingdom.
But hearing officer Oliver Morris found there was “no likelihood of direct confusion” between the two trademarks, according to scotsman.com.
He said: “The evidence paints a fairly compelling picture that the fame of Mr Brand is more wide-reaching and he is more generally known than argued. I come to the view that the average consumer in the UK will have been aware of Mr Brand's fame at the relevant date.”
Morris also said, according to scotsman.com, that the average consumer will recognize the actor will be using his full name on his collection while Russell will only be using the “Russell” name.
Russell Corp. was also ordered to pay Â£1,500 towards Brand's legal costs. Brand is probably best known for playing rocker Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek.