TRADE MARK
Artists, Record Labels, Internet

Associated Newspapers, owners of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard suceeded in a High Court action to prevent rival publishing group Express Newspapers from calling their planned new evening newspaper theEvening Mail or the London Evening Mail. Mr Justic Laddie held that the the proposed title could confuse the general public into believing that the new paper came from the Daily Mail’s stable rather than from a different publishing group.

COMMENT : In the United Kingdom trade names and brands are protected both under legislation as statutes (under theTrade Mark Act 1994, EC Directive 89/105) or under the common law doctrine of ‘passing of’. Trade Mark legislation allows for registration of distinctive recognisable marks with an initial protection for twenty years, in effect giving the owner of a registered mark an effective licence for use and exploitation for this period. Protection can now be extended by registering the mark as a Community Trade Mark. Passing off protects traders’ reputation, goodwill or products. No registration is needed but a brand or name must be in established use. It was held in Spalding -v- Grange (1915) that ”no person is entitled to represent his goods as another’s. In Perry -v- Trufit (1842) it was decided that a trader must not sell his own goods under the pretence that they are the goods of another – ‘to do so is an actionable wrong’.