Intellectual Property – Passing Off

| February 15, 2014

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You are a new trainee at the firm of Goulton, Specter, Ross and Litt.
The firm specializes in Company and Commercial work but an existing client, Foxtons Estate Agents plc has an issue relating to an aspect of Intellectual Property Law, specifically Passing Off.
You have been instructed by Mr. Litt to write him a memo detailing the client’s position with regards bringing an action for passing off. You will find the clients email marked document 1. Mr Litt is a tax specialist and rather unfamiliar with IP law and you should therefore include relevant legal argument including case law and statute throughout your Memo. You will find a template for a memorandum on Document 2.
I have just discovered this firm called Hartley’s who are based in Melton Mowbray and Leicester and are ripping off our signage and are trying to be Foxtons. See the attached photographs. (Documents 3 and 4, 5 and 6.).Harvey, Steve and Mike are working on our expansion plans at the moment and as they have explained to you, we have an aggressive plan to open a Foxtons unit in every major town in the UK. Please refer to our website to see the likeness of our brands. https://www.foxtons.co.uk/. Obviously our look is far better, but I and the Board of Directors feel that what Hartleys are doing is wrong.
I am also really concerned because Hartleys have just agreed the lease on a unit next door to us in West Kensington, London. It really is imperative that we stop these people as they don’t have the best reputation in the Industry and I am worried they could have a negative impact on our company both in and around our Core area of London and the South East, but we as a board are also really worried about our expansion plans.
Please can you advise us as to what we can do? Is there a law prohibiting this behaviour?
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