8 October 2008

Trade Marks and Passing Off: Tubzee Ltd v Safron Foods Ltd and Others

This was a trade mark and passing off case between two Halifax kulfi makers. 

The claimant company, Tubzee Ltd., had registered a number of signs as British and Community trade marks for kulfi including the following:
It complained that the defendant, Saffron Foods Ltd and its directors had infringed its registered trade marks marks by adopting packaging that included
Two members of the public said that they had been misled into purchasing Saffron's products by such get-up.

A claim was launched by Tubzee in November 2007 and came before Judge Behrens sitting in Leeds last week (Tubzee Ltd v Safron Foods Ltd and Others [2008] EWHC B15 (Ch) (7 Oct 2008)). The judge accepted the consumers' evidence and found that there had been trade mark infringement and passing off.   He also found that Saffron's directors were personally liable as joint tortfeasors though his reasoning on the point is very sketchy.

Now I have blogged this case even though there was not much law in it for two reasons. First, it was heard in Leeds and the more publicity that is given to IP cases tried in the North the better. Secondly, it was a case in which the successful party was represented not by solicitors but by patent attorneys, namely Franks & Co. of Sheffield. I might add that the claimant's counsel was once Kate Kennedy but one would have to be a St Andrean to understand the significance of that.