passing off

passing off
When a trade or service mark is not registrable it may still be entitled to certain protection, i.e. a passing-off action. Passing off is available where there is a prospect of confusion of identity through the unauthorised use of similar marks or get up, and such use damages, or is likely to damage the goodwill and reputation of a business. Unregistered marks and passing off can apply to virtually any name, mark, logo or get-up which distinguishes a company, business, product or service.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.

passing off
the tort or delict of putting up goods in such a way that the goodwill of another trader is harmed. The paradigm case is that of selling goods under the pursuer's name or mark or using his get-up or set-up (i.e. packaging). Reverse passing off is where the accusation is that the defender is damaging the pursuer's sales by selling an inferior product that will damage the pursuer's future sales, as opposed to depriving him of actual sales. Passing off is often considered a form of intellectual property. See Erven Warnik BV v. Townend [1979] AC 731.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

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