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Passing Off

Passing off disputes

Passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... disputes – expert London solicitors

South Bank Legal’s intellectual propertyintellectual property:  a piece of work or a creation by th... lawyers have successfully acted in passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... claims on behalf of both claimants protecting their brand goodwillgoodwill: a business’ intangible and reputational assets s... and defendants accused of passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader....

The law of passing off prevents unscrupulous traders from unlawfully “riding on the coat tails” of businesses with goodwill and brand reputation often built up over years of hard work and advertising expenditure. Traders are prevented from misrepresenting their goods or services as being somehow connected to the goods and services of another (by, for example, using deceptively similar get up or packaging). A passing off claim is distinct from a trade mark infringement claim, in that no registered trade marktrade mark: a symbol, most commonly used in conjunction with... is required to be held by the claimant in a passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... claim.

To succeed in a claim for passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... a claimant must generally prove three things:

  1. The claimant has goodwillgoodwill: a business’ intangible and reputational assets s... or reputation in respect of its goods or services.
  2. Another party has made a misrepresentationmisrepresentation: in contract disputes, a false statement t... that confuses members of the public into associating that party’s goods or services with those of the claimant.
  3. As a result of the above, the claimant has suffered damage.

An often cited example of a successful passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... claim is Easyjet Airline Co v Dainty (t/as Easyrealestate). In this case the defendantdefendant: the respondent against whom court proceedings are..., Mr Dainty, set up a website called “easyrealestate.co.uk”. Easyjet successfully sued Mr Dainty and won because the defendantdefendant: the respondent against whom court proceedings are... Mr Dainty had clearly set up his website in a very similar style to the Easyjet website. Although the Court did not say that Easyjet had a monopoly over the word “easy”, it was found that the use of that word by Mr Dainty, combined with the similarity between the two websites, amounted to the necessary misrepresentationmisrepresentation: in contract disputes, a false statement t... and Mr Dainty was therefore liable for passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader....

The claimant in the Easyjet case succeeded and rightly so. However our passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... solicitors see many large companies making unsustainable allegations of passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... against their smaller competitors in order to eliminate or stifle competition. Our UK passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... solicitors can fight the corner of innocent traders in these circumstances and we have time and again successfully managed to stave off unjustified court proceedings.

Passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... – financial and non-financial remedies

A successful claimant in a passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... claim will generally be entitled to:

  • a non-financial remedy, in the form of an injunctioninjunction: a type of remedy that a court may order in comme... granted by the court prohibiting the defendantdefendant: the respondent against whom court proceedings are... from engaging in any further passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader... conduct; and
  • a financial remedy, namely an award of damagesdamages: in litigation and dispute resolution, financial com... or alternatively, payment of a sum on account of the profits generated by the passing offpassing off: a civil wrong, or tort, that protects a trader....

If you have received a letter before claim alleging passing off, or are looking to prevent competitors from taking advantage of your valuable brand goodwill, you would benefit from speaking to a dispute resolution solicitor. Please feel free to contact South Bank Legal today for a confidential discussion.