Reputation and Goodwill in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Irvine and another v Talksport Ltd
    • Chancery Division
    • 13 Marzo 2002

    In such a case, although the defendant may not damage the goodwill as such, what he does is damage the value of the goodwill to the claimant because, instead of benefiting from exclusive rights to his property, the latter now finds that someone else is squatting on it. The ability to do that is compromised if another can use the reputation or goodwill without his permission and as he likes.

    If someone acquires a valuable reputation or goodwill, the law of passing off will protect it from unlicensed use by other parties. Such use will frequently be damaging in the direct sense that it will involve selling inferior goods or services under the guise that they are from the claimant. But the action is not restricted to protecting against that sort of damage. The law will vindicate the claimant's exclusive right to the reputation or goodwill.

  • Inter Lotto (UK) Ltd v Camelot Group Plc
    • Chancery Division
    • 06 Junio 2003

    It is possible to formulate a defence to the passing off action in two ways. First, it could be said that Inter Lotto has no enforceable goodwill and reputation. He asserted that Camelot's ownership of the '392 registered mark provided it with an entitlement to use it. He said that his client had a "better" claim than Inter Lotto to the marks in suit. He said that the issue was one of priority of rights and "hierarchy".

  • Warnink (Erven) Besloten Vennootschap v J Townend & Sons (Hull) Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 21 Junio 1979

    My Lords, Spalding v. Gamage and the later cases make it possible to identify five characteristics which must be present in order to create a valid cause of action for passing off: (1) a misrepresentation (2) made by a trader in the course of trade, (3) to prospective customers of his or ultimate consumers of goods or services supplied by him, (4) which is calculated to injure the business or goodwill of another trader (in the sense that this is a reasonably foreseeable consequence) and (5) which causes actual damage to a business or goodwill of the trader by whom the action is brought or (in a quia timet action) will probably do so.

    As respects subsequent additions to the class, mere entry into the market would not give any right of action for passing off; the new entrant must have himself used the descriptive term long enough on the market in connection with his own goods and have traded successfully enough to have built up a goodwill for his business.

    If a product of a particular character or composition has been marketed under a descriptive name and under that name has gained a public reputation which distinguishes it from competing products of different composition, I can see no reason in principle or logic why the goodwill in the name of those entitled to make use of it should be protected by the law against deceptive use of the name by competitors, if it denotes a product of which the ingredients come from a particular locality, but should lose that protection if the ingredients of the product, however narrowly identified, are not restricted as to their geographical provenance.

  • Warnink (Erven) Besloten Vennootschap v J Townend & Sons (Hull) Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 Abril 1978

    The learned judge made the following findings of fact in respect of the public reputation of Advocaat in this country; (1) A substantial reputation and goodwill has, over half a century or more, been acquired by the name Advocaat as that of a drink with recognisable qualities of appearance, taste, strength and satisfaction; (2) A large part of the public has come to believe correctly that Advocaat is of Dutch origin and incorrectly that eggs and brandy are its characteristic ingredients; (5) There is another section of the public which buys and consumes Advocaat without any opinion as to its ingredients except that they include eggs and alcohol; (4) An expert can well distinguish a wine based drink, such as the defendants', from the traditional form of Advocaatsupplied by the plaintiffs, but there is no such gross difference of taste, colour or other qualities as would lead the inexperienced or casual customer to regard them as different species of drink.

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Legislation
  • Trade Marks Act 1994
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1994
    ... ... if, or to the extent that, the earlier trade mark has a reputation in the United Kingdom ... and the use of the later mark without due cause ... property.It is so transmissible either in connection with the goodwill of a business or independently ... (1A) A contractual obligation to ... ...
  • Reserve Forces (Call-out and Recall) (Exemptions Etc.) Regulations 1997
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1997
    ... ... (a) (a) loss of sales, markets, reputation, goodwill or other financial harm; ... (b) (b) impairment of ability to ... ...
  • Companies Act 2006
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2006
    ... ... 5 para. 4)) ... Similarity to other name in which person has goodwill ... 69: Objection to company's registered name ... (1) A person (“the ... (7) In this section “goodwill” includes reputation of any description ... Annotations: Modifications etc. (not altering ... ...
  • The Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Companies Act 2006) Regulations 2009
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2009
    ... ... 5 para. 4 ... Similarity to other name in which person has goodwill ... Sections 69 to 74 apply to LLPs, modified so that they read as ... shall be dismissed.(7) In this section “goodwill” includes reputation of any description.(70) Company names adjudicators(1) The Secretary of ... ...
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Books & Journal Articles
  • A tool for measuring SMEs’ reputation, engagement and goodwill. A New Zealand exploratory study
    • No. 18-1, January 2017
    • Journal of Intellectual Capital
    • 170-188
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a rating and scoring tool for measuring small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) reputation, engagement and goodwill (REG), including internet presence ...
  • Do intellectual capitals matter to firm value enhancement? Evidences from Taiwan
    • No. 22-4, July 2020
    • Journal of Intellectual Capital
    • 725-743
    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to find evidence of the impact of intellectual capital on firm value, and, in turn, enhance the existing literature which lacks consensus on it. By employing s...
    ... ... positively by the average net profit per employee as well as goodwill andintangible assets. This is because firms having employees with abundant ... will possess advantagefor innovation, and the excellent reputation, a part of goodwill for oriental firms, would encourage people toconsume ... ...
  • Firm-specific internal determinants of profitability performance: an exploratory study of selected life insurance firms in Asia
    • No. 12-4, December 2018
    • Journal of Asia Business Studies
    • 533-550
    Purpose: This study is an exploratory study investigating firm-specific internal factors that influence the profitability performance of selected life insurance firms in eight Asian countries (Chin...
    ... ... expansion strategies; and focus onintangibleresources such as goodwill, brandequity and reputation.Originality/value –This study contributes to ... ...
  • Protecting Business Reputation in Australia — Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act and Passing Off
    • No. 13-3, September 1983
    • Federal Law Review
    • 0000
    The common law relating to the tort of passing off is the traditional means by which conduct threatening business reputation may be halted. During the past five years, the Federal Court of Australi...
    ... ... This Article discusses the scope of the two causes of action in the context of an allegation of actual or threatened erosion of goodwill. The types of cases in which such allegation is usually made is then examined and suggestions given as to which cause of action should be ... ...
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • The Challenges and Opportunities of Pre-Packs as a Restructuring Tool
    • LexBlog United Kingdom
    In recent years, many countries have adopted some form of pre-packaged reorganizations (“pre-packs”), inspired largely by pre-packs popularized in the United Kingdom and the United States. By short...
    ... ... the costs of financial distress and especially the loss of reputation, employees, suppliers, and goodwill. As a result, pre-packs can also help ... ...
  • Intellectual Property: Passing Off – The Law Does Concern Itself With Trivialities
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ... ... off is used to protect signs and names (or more correctly the goodwill and reputation connected with the business carried on under a sign or ... ...
  • Passing Off
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ... ... and benefiting from the reputation and goodwill built up by that ... business. Legal action can be taken to ... ...
  • Passing Off
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ... ... good or services as those of another and benefiting from the reputation and goodwill built up by that business. Legal action can be taken to ... ...
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