Hutchison would have had to pay ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’ if it
had commissioned a design house to produce the Rabbit telepoint
logo created by Hook Advertising, the High Court heard this week.
The claim was made by Chris Joseph, Hook’s chairman, who described
suggestions that Hook had given up the rights to the logo as
Joseph was giving evidence on the eighth day of a hearing into
Hutchison’s bid to get a judge to rule that it owns the copyright to the
logo which was the central feature of its campaign.
The hearing is the latest stage in a huge legal battle that has raged
over the logo since Hook was fired from the pounds 4 million Rabbit
account four years ago after refusing to hand over the copyright.
Hutchison took over the Rabbit licence from the BYPS consortium, which
still claims to be entitled to the rights for logo.
At the hearing, Mike Bowerman, the former BYPS and Hutchison marketing
director, denied meeting Joseph in a pub in August 1989 when the Hook
chairman is alleged to have reminded him that the agency’s contract had
only a year to run and that something would need to be done because he
owned the copyright.
Alistair Wilson QC, for Hook, told Bowerman: ‘You knew that if you
raised the issue of copyright you would have been asked for a large
amount of money upfront for the logo.’ Bowerman replied: ‘That’s
Peter Wright, BYPS’s former managing director, also said he could not
remember being told by Joseph that the copyright belonged to him.
But Robin Peach, Joseph’s former agency partner, said that, in August
1990, they had a two-hour meeting with Bowerman in Cambridge to complain
about the misuse of the logo.
Peach says Joseph confronted Bowerman with the contract and it was
agreed that the logo was Joseph’s concept. ‘Mike got pretty heated, and
said contracts were for lawyers,’ Peach claimed. ‘There was lots of
shouting. It was that kind of a meeting.’
The case is expected to end next week.