Passing Off

Passing off occurs when two parties have a dispute against each other within the world of business. Cases often derive when one party accuses the other of using their goodwill in order to sell their products or damaging the goodwill of another party or misrepresenting their brand. Disputes are commonly brought to the court’s attention for the reason of one party hijacking the other party’s goods and/or services and passing it off as their own.

Passing off law protects businesses that have rights in relation to slogans, names, packaging and various advertising elements where the company will have gained some structure of reputation and brand identity.

When an unregistered trademark is being contested by two parties, passing off law is usually when a slogan or name is not registered with a brand or business but has a lot of brand affinity attached to the company.

Bringing a passing off action does have advantages to the Claimant such as:

  • Damages are ordered to be paid by the Defendant;
  • An order for the destruction of the infringing products;
  • An injunction is enforced; and
  • An enquiry to establish loss.

For a business wrongly accused of passing off many use the following defences:

  • The Claimant’s assets are not distinctive;
  • The slogan has become generic;
  • The Defendant may be innocently using his or her own name; and
  • The Claimant has given consent.

If you would like to find out more regarding passing off laws, please get in contact with our intellectual property solicitors and we will be able to process your query efficiently and effectively.

What do I do next?

Contact us online or speak to one of our dedicated intellectual property solicitors on 0207 998 7777 for a free initial consultation. With our vast experience in the field, our team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible. All information you provide us with is treated with the utmost confidentiality.

We will contact you no later than the next working day to arrange a meeting at our offices in London W1 to advise on the agreement.

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