The Week: Advertising news - 3 bursts O2's bubbles

The mobile operator 3 has won a four-year battle with its rival O2 over the use of its bubbles trademark in a TV campaign that compared 3 tariffs with more expensive offers from O2. The European Court of Justice ruled that the use of O2's bubbles in an ad for 3 was unlikely to cause confusion.

"The court finds that the proprietor of a registered trademark is not entitled to rely on his trademark rights to prevent the use, by a third party, in a comparative advertisement, of a sign similar to that mark ... where such use does not give rise to a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public," the ECJ said in a statement.