The intellectual property team has successfully represented One Electrical Limited, one of the UK’s leading brands in electrical wiring accessories and lighting, in a passing off action against another electrical company.
Based in Manchester, One Electrical was incorporated in 2001 and has built a reputation for supplying a wide range of products including wiring accessories (switches and sockets), and indoor and outdoor lighting for domestic and commercial applications, on a global scale to both wholesale electrical chains and household names such as Aldi, Tesco and Costco.
The dispute arose when One Electrical discovered the existence of One Electrical Distributors Limited (OED), which was also selling electrical products, to wholesale and to end users. Such was the confusion being caused, that one of One Electrical’s wholesale customers refused to deal with One Electrical because it confused One Electrical with OED, and mistakenly believed One Electrical was competing with it by selling goods direct to the public. Another customer of One Electrical had mistakenly made payment to OED for an order of goods placed with One Electrical, believing that they were the same business.
One Electrical instructed Clarion to take action against OED to prevent OED from continuing to use the One Electrical name. The dispute was concluded successfully by Clarion within three weeks, with OED agreeing to change its company and trading names, taking down its website, and undertaking not in future to pass off its goods or business as those of One Electrical. OED also agreed to write to all third parties to which it had supplied or offered to supply goods under the One Electrical name, and confirming that the company had given undertakings to One Electrical not to do so in future.
Gerard Hall, managing director of One Electrical, commented: “Over the last 10 years we have invested heavily in building up the One Electrical brand. The business prides itself on, and is recognised for, the high quality electrical goods we supply under the One Electrical name. We are very well known in the electrical wholesale market and were most concerned, therefore, to learn of One Electrical Distributors.
“We were particularly shocked to find that our own valued customers were being confused into thinking that OED were something to do with us when that could not have been further from the truth. We felt we had no choice but to take this action to protect the reputation of the One Electrical brand and our position in the marketplace. I am extremely pleased with the swift outcome.”
Clarion intellectual property partner Leigh Martin, who headed up the team which took the successful action for One Electrical, added: “It is always satisfying to be able to help clients to take effective action and achieve the outcome they desire when their valuable IP rights have been infringed by third parties. This case was particularly pleasing due to the swiftness of the result and the fact that OED has already changed its name.”
Clarion’s IP practice has a diverse client base from multinationals to SMEs across a range of industries. It encompasses all aspects of intellectual property law, including the identification, protection and commercial exploitation of intellectual property, as well as litigation and the resolution of intellectual property disputes. The department’s areas of expertise cover patents, designs, trademarks, passing off, copyright and the protection of confidential information.
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