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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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my company has been accused of "passing off" despite making

Resolved Question:

my company has been accused of "passing off" despite making it clear on any public facing material or PR that we are in no way connected with any businesses that have previously used the same name (went bankrupt 30 years ago). The company in question does not trade with the same name, and there is no case for loss or diversion of trade as I will need to pay this company for any materials I need - but did by they old company out of receivership along with its good will - but as I say the public can not be easily confused as the name is XXXXX XXXXX by said company - just my new one. The company has refused to supply us these materials unless I close down my company (registered in the UK) and open again under a different name. His claims are one thing - but do I have any case against them as he is putting my company in a situation where we cannot trade?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

On what basis can't you trade - is there a Court Order?

Customer:

no - He has said the "solution is to stop using the name"

Customer:

I wish to avoid an expensive legal battle - he has money I do not - in my experience those with the most money win

Customer:

if he refuses to supply me materials I cant trade also

Customer:

He has the monopoly

Customer:

The only thing I think he could argue is dilution of the goodwill he purchased... but that does not add up if I have to buy all my parts from him. If I do well - so does he.

Alex Watts :

But he is not using the name and wants you to stop?

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts :

Ok - well you can refuse.

Alex Watts :

But of course they may decide to issue proceedings

Alex Watts :

But a Court would ask, would a consumer be confused

Alex Watts :

If the answer is no - then you are not passing off

Alex Watts :

If it is yes - then you are

Customer:

the consequeses of would be?

Alex Watts :

But you can refuse, but there is always the risk of litgation

Alex Watts :

At worst an injunction to stop you and damages if they can show they have lost business

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this?

Customer:

and if I havent earnt a penny from this company yet - there can be no damages

Alex Watts :

Of course.

Alex Watts :

Then there would be no point taking the company to court. Remember they wouldnt be taking you but your company

Alex Watts :

So even if they won, they wouldnt get anything anway

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

thanks

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.


Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


 


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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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