A British flower-grower has won a trademark case that will allow him to continue sell flowers using the name of the hit 1970s TV series "Charlie's Angels." Peter Wood, the managing director of plant-s
LONDON--A British flower-grower has won a trademark case that will allow him to continue sell flowers using the name of the hit 1970s TV series "Charlie's Angels."
Peter Wood, the managing director of plant-suppliers R Delamore Ltd. of The Nurseries in Cambridgeshire, England, was marketing petunias called "Charlie's Angels" when Columbia Pictures sued him.
Trademark judge WJ Trott, the principal hearing officer for the British Trademarks Registrar, ruled that the flowers were too far removed from Columbia's property for the buying public to mistake that they were merchandise connected with the TV show or film "Charlie's Angels."
Wood claims he had no knowledge of the hit '70s TV series or blockbuster movie remake when he decided to market his "Charlie's Angels" petunias. He insists that the choice of name was "purely coincidental."
Wood says his young son Charlie, who helped grow the petunias, chose the name, inspired by his mother's tendency to call him "her little angel."
Challenging Wood's application to register the trademark in respect of a range of plants and flowers, Columbia argued that Wood had deliberately chosen the name to benefit from the publicity surrounding the film, and that the public would be confused into thinking his flowers were endorsed by the studio.
Rejecting Columbia's opposition to Wood's application, the judge said the studio's challenge was based on "a lot of supposition, without any basis in evidence." He added, "There is no evidence in this case that films always trigger merchandising and, even if I were to take judicial notice of this as a notorious fact, there is certainly nothing to show that the practice extends to flowers and plants.
The judge also ordered Columbia, which last year released the movie sequel "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," to pay Wood $3,544 to cover his legal costs.