NEWS: Hook defends right to own Rabbit logo in High Court battle

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.

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

‘commercially preposterous’.



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

ridiculous.’



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.



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