GROUP Travel operator Club Europe has won a 12-year battle against British Airwaysover the use of its name as a trademark.
The High Court ruling restricts BAto using the name only for its Club Europe product and states that BA is not entitled to prevent the registration of the name by the operator in relation to any products it sold first.
The London-based direct-sell operator started its fight with BA in 1987 over the name Club Europe which the carrier uses for its business-class product in Europe.
Both sides fell into a dispute about who owns the right to register the name as a trademark.
Club Europe managing director Ian Johnson said the ruling meant he was now free to sell programmes the company used to operate, such as ski holidays, through the trade – a move he said he was considering.
He added: “This is a victory for the little guy. BA dragged its heels all this time hoping we would go away but we didn’t.”
The case cost the company £100,000 but it will receive £37,500 in costs from BA.
A BA spokeswoman said: “BA can continue to use the Club Europe brand which is what we set out to achieve.”
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