David and Goliath of the telecoms world, First Telecom and BT, crossed swords on the steps of the High Court last week. Telecoms giant BT won a temporary High Court injunction preventing European telco, First Telecom, from using the slogan www.BT.con in any advertising.
The move came after First Telecom set up a website last week called www.bt.con.uk. and it used the cheeky slogan for two days in national newspaper campaigns.
The advertising has been withdrawn now and the Web site shut down after the court granted a five-day injunction to BT, which claimed that www.bt.con is a breach of their trademark.
The parties will return to court on Friday to discuss the case further. Matt Gould, European Legal Counsel for First Telecom said: "We must decide whether we fight or give in."
He said the campaign, which was designed to highlight 20 per cent savings on local Internet calls over BT rates, was "cheeky," and had "inflamed BT."
He added: "They got the big guns out on Friday. We dealt with them on the steps of the High Court. They played hard ball. We were aware they were in a position to stop it but we considered the factors and risks. We took a gamble."
Gould could not reveal how much the aborted campaign had cost: "I'm a lawyer, so I don't know," he said, adding, "it had a much shorter lifespan than we'd hoped, but BT didn't see the sense of fun."
A spokesperson for BT confirmed: "We have an injunction against them to stop a misleading campaign, but for legal reasons the commercial details are in confidence."
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