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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi there, I run a small business importing a range of high

Customer Question

Hi there, I run a small business importing a range of high quality incense sticks from an exclusive supplier in India.
These are packaged and branded with my own name, my main product being known as:
Happy Hari's Nag Champa GOLD!!
Now another UK company have just launched an imitation product called "The Indian Connection Gold Nag Champa" and have even tried to copy my special packaging designs.
I know there's is nothing wrong with that but they have also stolen my email list and sent spam emails to a number of my customers claiming the sticks are exactly the same and from the same suppliers and neither of these statements is true.
They also claim their product is 100% natural and organic but I am sure it contains synthetic ingredients albeit on a natural base.
Now I am not sure whether I should approach the Indian COnnection with a cease and desist letter or go straight to their local trading standards office.
In any case I'd rather my feelings were presented on my behalf by a qualified lawyer.
I hope you can advise and I look forward to hearing back from you.
many thanks
Paul Eagle - Happy Hari Incense
www.happyhariincense.com
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello Paul my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know about yours and their product, I assume it is the same?

Alex Watts :

Also have you reported the email hack to the Police?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

Hi Alex,

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

No it's not the same product at all, his is a completely different (and I would say inferior) fragrance to mine

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

And I've not reported anythung to anyone

Alex Watts :

But it is in the same industry sector, let me put it like that?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

Yes the same sector

Alex Watts :

Ok. I assume you want to stop this other person?

Alex Watts :

To confirm the competitor is also based in the uk?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

He wholesales a wide range of Indian Goods and acted as my drop shipper last year before we had a big falling out. Now it seems he's doing this both as an act of revenge and to try to steal my market

Alex Watts :

ok.

Alex Watts :

The competitor is based in the UK?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

I only sell my own range of incense sticks - so it's a kind of David & Goliath thing too

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

Yes he's based near plymouth and lives in Totnes

Alex Watts :

Ok. Well depending on how quick you want to act this is what you can do

Alex Watts :

1) You can get a local Solicitor to write and ask him to stop or say you will go to Court and seek an injunction

Alex Watts :

You want confirmation within 7 days

Alex Watts :

But if you dont want to wait that long then you can go to Court2

Alex Watts :

2) You would need to complete form N1

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

And N16a

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

You are asking the court for an order that they stop using the product, packaging, logo etc

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

They've not copied me exactly

Alex Watts :

You are also asking the court for an order that they stop using the email list and deliver it back up to you

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

but they are telling people it's from the same supplier which is a lie

Alex Watts :

Yes, but the test is this - would a consumer be confused between your product and theirs

Alex Watts :

If the answer is yes, then you have a claim for passing off

Alex Watts :

The Court will list the matter for hearing and decide whether to grant an interim order

Alex Watts :

If the court does and he does not comply he would be in contempt of Court

Alex Watts :

This means he can be warned by a Judge, fined or sent to prison

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

Yes, because they are writing to and telling people on the phone that it is the same

Alex Watts :

The Judge is likely to set the matter down for a final hearing and give directions

Alex Watts :

You also MUST report the email hack to the Police.

Alex Watts :

This is a criminal offence

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

which police station do I report to ?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

or can I do it by email??

Alex Watts :

Local to you

Alex Watts :

I would go in, not email, as they would need a formal statement

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

Ok thanks, ***** ***** say local solicitor do you mean local to me in London or local to him in Plymouth or Totnes??

Alex Watts :

Local to you

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

Ah OK, but a proper solicitor not a CAB or law centre yes?

Alex Watts :

Correct.

Alex Watts :

Its worth the £200 or so

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

OK do you mind of I ask a second unrelated question please?

Alex Watts :

That depends if I know the answer

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

OK, my recent ex girlfriend has failed to return a number of small inexpensive but emotionally attached items and when I tried to make contact her new boyfriend sent me an aggressive threat via facebook. and she has warned me to lie low and keep my thoughts to myself. He is a well known bully so I've not done anything to heat things up but I'm kind of having to watch my back. what would you advise?

Alex Watts :

Go to the Police. This could be a threat.

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

Oh it's a threat alright but I don't want to escalate things, could my solicitor send them a cease and desist and please give my stuff back without going to the police?

Alex Watts :

Yes you could do that too

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

I don't really want to make things worse for her - well I do but I don't want her to know that haha

Alex Watts :

Ok.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

OK should I fill these forms in before going to a solicitor or will they do them for me?

Alex Watts :

Its a matter for you. I would suggest a Solicitor

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

What about Trading Standards? or should I just leave it to the court?

Alex Watts :

Just leave it to Court, Trading Standards are unlikely to get involved

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

OK Alex, thanks very much.

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

Excellent

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

JACUSTOMER-cr93g01u- :

I think that's all I need for now, thank you

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go - the button is at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your follow up, I've downloaded the court forms and have asked a barrister friend of mine to have a look through and help write them up.

A couple of questions you might be able to help with though:

1. Another lawyer told me I would need to write to the "offender" first and ask him to stop of my own accord before filing any court papers, is that correct?

2. When I spoke with a policeman at my local station he pleaded ignorance of internet law and said I should call the CID of the station nearest the offender's premises as that's where the alleged crime was committed.

Could you please give some advice on this and explain exactly which criminal law it is that he has broken by first stealing my confidential e.mail list and then spamming the people on it.

I appreciate that his comments regarding his products viz-a-viz mine are a civil matter but whatever the content, the mere fact of using my list and sendng out unsolicited e.mails is surely a case for the police to investigate.

I hope you can offer a little insight before I have ot explain how the law works to another member of the constabulary.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks

Paul Eagle - *****@******.***

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
1) yes you can write beforehand and warn, although not a legal requirement
2) Misuse of Computer Act
Hopefully that helps!
Alex

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