Trade Marks / Passing Off
The words ‘trademark’ and ‘brand’ both refer to signals used by traders to identify the origin and quality of their goods. Trade marks have developed in sophistication and the law has had to develop to accommodate brands in all shapes, smells and colours. Digitisation has brought new challenges for trade mark law, particularly with regard to online infringement, whilst the existence of national rights in the international sphere has seen counterfeiting and parallel import issues brought to the fore.
Businesses or individuals with registered trademarks can take legal action against any persons who use, in the course of their business (and without the holder’s consent), a sign which is identical or similar to the trademark. However, if the trademark has not been registered and someone uses that mark without the owner’s permission, the owner may still be able to claim relief through the common law action of “passing off”.
Our intellectual property team has a wide range of expertise in handling a variety of trade mark cases ranging from; website blocking injunctions, trade mark infringement claims against online market places, through to advice on co-existence arrangements and portfolio management.