The Doctrine of Passing-Off

3133 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 13 Pages
Passing-off can be defined as a situation whereby an individual or an undertaking sells or distributes a good or a particular service to consumers in a way or manner that induces the customer to believe he or she is purchasing the good of another different undertaking. An example of this is where a new business in a defined market comes in and begins to sell their goods in a very similar package to that of the already existing and well known market leader (or any top brand) to get customers to purchase the new businesses goods believing that they were purchasing that of the well known market leader. The intentions of the new business do not matter when it comes to passing-off, although it can also be significant in practice.
Passing-off could result to a number of negative situations for both the consumer and the market leading business, such as misleading the consumers, loss of profits and revenue to the market leading business, damage to the reputation of the business when the quality of the good or service are not up to standard already associated with the original product and all round damage. The tort of passing-off is used most of the time to enforce the rights of unregistered trade mark holders. It does this by protecting the good-will of the…

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