Protecting your Business from ‘Passing-Off’

25th October 2011
Protecting your Business from ‘Passing-Off’ image

Protecting your Business from ‘Passing-Off’

When your business is successful, and builds up an excellent reputation and customer goodwill, competitors may try to pass themselves off as your company in order to “steal” some of your business.

What is Passing-Off?

The most common form of passing-off is when a competitor uses a similar name to that of your business.  The unscrupulous competitor could trade using a name similar to yours, perhaps with only a slight change which a customer might not notice.  As a result that customer could go to this competitor in error, rather than yourself, resulting in a loss of business for you. Furthermore if your competitor is not as good, your reputation could plummet.

The actions of the competitor here do not have to be intentional, and you can go to Court to protect your business.

Other common forms of passing-off include using a similar logo to you, or advertising using similar or same slogans etc.  These things can confuse customers, re-directing their business elsewhere.

What problems can Passing-Off cause? 

Obviously your business may lose out on customers who have been led to believe that another business is actually you, and you might not even know about it!  Not only do you lose these customers, you can also lose their repeat business.  Furthermore if that competitor’s business is not as good as yours, your reputation can be damaged and adverse publicity may follow.  It can be very difficult to quantify how much loss or damage a passing-off can cause.

What can you do about Passing-Off? 

You might be able to get an injunction stopping your competitor from using the offending name, logo or advertisement, as well as getting compensation not only for loss of earnings but also for any gain made by the competitor from using your name etc.

If you think that someone is passing-off as your business, then you need to take action straight away.  Often the offending business, when confronted, will back down and refrain from using the offending name etc.  If they don’t, then you need to take the appropriate legal action to protect your business.

For advice on passing-off actions or any issue as to intellectual property please contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261, or at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH or Gemma Mayer on 01775 722261, or at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.

Free Wills Month in October image

Free Wills Month in October

Maples are pleased to announce that they are taking part in Free Wills Month throughout October. If you are aged 55 or over you can make your Will for free and have the opportunity to help one or more of the sponsoring charities in the process. Appointments are limited in number and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

For further details please contact a member of our Wills and Probate Department:-

Jane Mawer-
Jamie Dobbs-
Faye Blair-

Or telephone the office 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.