The old expression ‘If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it is a duck’ is well-enough known for unscrupulous companies to imitate the packaging of better-known products to give their own merchandise the ‘look and feel’ of the other brand. By doing this, they are effectively making use of the other company’s branding for their own benefit.
In a bid to bring this practice under control, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has started a consultation process which proposes bringing in regulations that will allow the owner of the ‘infringed’ brand to bring legal proceedings against the ‘copycat’. Under present regulations, this is difficult unless an actual trade mark is copied, as those responsible for enforcement of the law that prohibits the use of marketing which ‘creates confusion with any products, trade marks, trade names or other distinguishing marks of a competitor’ do not prioritise this.
For advice on protecting your brand and other intellectual property from imitators, contact us.