The measures put in place by the government earlier this year to protect businesses against the threat of insolvency and those protecting directors against wrongful trading claims by a liquidator have been extended to 31 December 2020, to give companies...
What is passing off? Passing off is a legal reference for what happens when an individual or a business misrepresents someone else’s goods or services in order to try and pass them off as their own. An example of this could be if someone starts using a business name and logo that is very similar to yours and selling similar products and services, to try and convince customers that they are actually buying from you.
Passing off law in the UK deals with unregistered rights. This means that even if your business or brand logos, name or designs are not registered trademarks, if someone else tries to use them, or something very similar to them, to mislead people into believing they are buying your products or services, you can issue a passing off claim against them.
Is passing off the same as trademark infringement?
Whilst there may be some crossover between claims that include both passing off infringement and trademark infringement, they are different issues. A trademark must be registered with the relevant body in order for trademark infringement to be possible; you can find out more about trademark infringement here. However, if you think that an individual or a business is passing off your trademark or other recognisable elements of your branding to mislead the people buying from them that they are buying from you, this may be considered to be passing off, even if you haven’t registered your logo or other brand assets at this point.