passing off in law

Passing Off in Law: The subtle thief in business 2

Last week, I started on the topic “Passing Off” using a fictional illustration to bring home the legal enlightenment, and I ended with:

“How do you get the right remedy when such happens and how do you protect your product?”

In order for a product owner or an aggrieved party to be successful in a claim, say, for the producers of ‘Greenz Salad Cream’ to be successful in a claim for passing off of their product, they must be able to prove the following ingredients.

  • That the use of the name “Greens” mark is likely to cause or has caused an injury, actual or probable to the goodwill of their business.
  • That the producers of “Greens” who are engaged in a common field have used a name, mark, sign, which has a close resemblance to theirs, and which has been calculated to deceive or cause confusion in the minds of the common customer.
  • And proof that the name, mark sign which the producer of “Greenz” claims ownership has become distinctive of his products and is regarded by a substantial number of the public, as the name and product coming solely from him.

ALSO READ Passing Off In Law: The subtle thief in business

If all these can be proved by an aggrieved party, he can succeed in an action of Passing Off in the court of law.

Relevant provisions point to the Federal High Court as the right place for hearing such a matter.

As you know, you don’t prepare for battle at the battlefront, you prepare for it way before then.

How do you protect your product?

Trademark it. The bitter truth is, trademarking your brand name does not, in the real sense of it, restrict or prevent people from doing what you are doing, BUT;

  • It prevents them from passing off your products as if it’s theirs.
  • It also gives you a right to sue for any unauthorized use of your trademark or service mark.

Take, for example, Blue-band and other butter. It’s almost as if there are two types of butter, Blue-band, and others. No matter how many butter brands are released into the market, none of them can be called “Blue-band”.

So, a trademark protects the name, marks, logo, colors that uniquely identify your product and services and set it apart from the remaining lots.

I hope you have gotten value in this piece?

May Our Head be always Correct.

The Pretty and Petite Lawyer,
Aunty Taye❤️

4 Replies to “Passing Off in Law: The subtle thief in business 2”

    1. Thank you very much, Omotoyosi for that question.
      No, trademark is not the same thing as Patent.

      Trademark is a type of intellectual property. If you have a logo, a symbol, a design, a name, an image, goods and services, trademark is used to differentiate the goods and services from another person or others.

      While Patent is an EXCLUSIVE right granted to someone who invents any new, useful and non-obvious process.
      This means, If you have an Idea or invention which you want to emphasize your ownership on, you will get a patent registration for it.
      This means, nobody can copy it and if anyone does, you can sue the person and use the patent as a proof of ownership.

      However, the connection between a trademark and a patent is that, they both give their owners exclusive right making it illegal for other people to use them or copy them.

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