Once you have built up the reputation of your business you will want to make sure that no one else misleadingly benefits from your hard work.
Passing off protects against those seeking to take unfair advantage of a business’ goodwill and reputation in order to gain a head start.
If you are concerned that someone is selling their goods or services under the pretence that they derive from, or are connected to either you, your goods or your services, then you may be able to take a passing off action against them.
There is no requirement for registration so passing off can be used to protect your brand, name and image in cases where trademarks may not have been registered, or in cases where other protection from copying or mimicry is not available.
It is irrelevant whether or not the misrepresentation is intentional or that the passing off was innocent.
It’s also worth noting that while a passing off action is useful, a registered trademark offers far greater protection to organisations.
We regularly advise both Claimants and Defendants in passing off claims and deal with emergency applications for injunctions, delivery up or destruction orders in the High Court, the Patents County Court and County Courts throughout England and Wales.