The potential for internet sales was spotted early on by founders John Parker and Christiaan Ashworth and as a result, END. has become a pioneer in the global sale of contemporary niche menswear online, with a turnover of more than £100 million and flagship retail sites in Soho London, Glasgow and Newcastle.
END. engaged us in 2013 to obtain a portfolio of trade mark protection around the world. In early 2018, a website (endclothingco.com) appeared, selling menswear. The operator also started advertising on Instagram and Twitter. The business behind the website appeared to be based in the United States.
END. had secured a US trade mark registration early on, but the costs of trade mark litigation in the United States can be high. We therefore decided to attempt to have the infringing website taken down, using the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) offered by ICANN, which resolves disputes relating to ‘.com’ domain names. A UDRP complaint was filed and END. took action using the IP dispute policies of Twitter and Instagram.
END. won the UDRP dispute and took ownership of the conflicting domain. Yet, as a result of the pressure applied, the operator of the website agreed to take down ‘endclothingco.com’ and cease the use of any END. trade marks for retailing menswear before the decision was even announced.
END. was successful in having the infringing Twitter account closed and the website owner agreed to close the Instagram account as well. UDRP was therefore used as a low-cost alternative to trade mark infringement proceedings in the United States to effectively protect END.’s brand.