Chapter CG68410

Published date12 March 2016
Record NumberCG68410

The only way in which a pure image right CG68405 can be protected in the UK is under the Law of Passing-Off. Wadlow’s The Law of Passing-Off (Sweet & Maxwell, 2011) at page 7-84 summarises this as follows -

“A person who can be described as a trader has a cause of action for passing-off if he suffers damage to the goodwill in a business carried on by him from a misrepresentation, express or implied, that he has endorsed another business or its products. As always in passing-off, the terms “business” and “trader” are very widely defined and would include artists, all kinds of performers, professional sportsmen and the like. All these have goodwill in relation to their paid professional performances, and those who have an income from merchandising or endorsement have goodwill in relation to those activities as well.”

Consequently if an individual has developed a valuable reputation or goodwill, the law of passing-off will protect this reputation or goodwill from unlicensed use by other parties. A false representation that an individual has endorsed a product or service may be the cause for legal action, as long as the misrepresentation uses or takes advantage of the individual’s reputation or goodwill.

Lord Diplock in Warnink v Townend [1979] 2 All ER 927 identified five elements necessary to establish a cause for passing-off;


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