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Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

We regularly attract new clients who have been using firms in London, but now receive a more cost efficient and more personal service from us here in Bury St Edmunds.

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Entries in Intellectual Property (4)

Monday
Mar092015

Don't Put up with Passing Off!

Andrea Nicholls, a senior solicitor in Greene & Greene’s dispute resolution team reports on a recent client success story:

“I was recently able to help Cambridge Network Limited, one of the country’s leading membership organisations that was founded in 1998 by the University of Cambridge and a number of high profile local business leaders, to protect their business when faced with a competitor who was trying to use its goodwill for their own benefit. We successfully obtained an injunction in the High Court to prevent another company trading under the name “Cambs Network” and to force them to remove websites and social media accounts which used that name. The basis of our application was that Cambs Network were passing off as Cambridge Network.

Passing off is the law which enables an established business to take legal action to prevent a competitor from creating the impression that their goods or services are provided by or associated with the established business.

All the following elements must be present in order for a passing off action to exist:

Goodwill. There must be goodwill attached to the goods or services the established business provides. The goodwill of the business is the value of its reputation over and above the simple value of its assets. It is goodwill that distinguishes an established business from a new business.

Misrepresentation. There must be a misrepresentation by a competitor business that leads or is likely to lead customers to believe that the goods and services they offer are in some way associated with or provided by the established business.

Damage. The established business must show that the misrepresentation made by the competitor has caused or is likely to cause financial damage to the established business or damage its reputation.

Cambridge Network acted quickly in engaging Greene & Greene and we obtained an early interim injunction to restrain further dealings by Cambs Network. The Court later granted a final Order, which made the injunction permanent along with a payment by the competitor of our Client’s costs.

Please contact Andrea Nicholls on 01284 717531 or andreanicholls@greene-greene.com for more information. For further details about Greene & Greene solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com or follow @greenegreenelaw.

Tuesday
Jun122012

From a good idea through to commercial success

How do you turn a good idea into a real business?  That was the issue facing Adande Refrigeration, an engineering consultancy in Lowestoft.  They spotted a basic problem with refrigerators.  Every time you open the door, the cold air falls out.  That wastes energy and means that temperatures within the fridge vary hugely.  You may not mind that at home, but in commercial kitchens it increases energy costs, wastes food and eats profit.  In essence Adande’s idea was to store food in an insulated drawer.  When you open the drawer the cold air stays where it is meant to be, with the food.  Energy costs are halved and food quality is improved.

Adande put together a team of advisers, including Chris Thomson.  Chris had spent most of the 1990s helping clients to innovate in the biotech sector.  That experience taught him that a good idea needs protection, funding but, most of all, the energy and enthusiasm of investors and commercial partners willing to support its development.  Chris explains

Innovators don’t have time to make mistakes. Usually funds are limited and you want to be first to market. Learning from the experience of others improves your chances of success”.

Chris joined Adande’s board and helped the Company protect its ideas, collaborate with commercial partners, raise funds and maintain good relations with investors.

These days the Company has a substantial business supplying products to customers ranging from multinationals like MacDonald’s and KFC to fine dining restaurants like Le Manoir and The Dorchester. Export sales are increasing. Chris has helped license Adande’s technology in four continents.

Chris takes pride in being part of the Adande team.

This is the most enjoyable work I do. Some businesses expect a solicitor to just tell them that “the law says do this don’t do that” and put a bill in. For me it is far more satisfying to work with a client over time, to give them the benefit of experiences we’ve had elsewhere and to help them to succeed in the way that Adande has.”

Adande continues to innovate, and to support new innovations. The Company is working on new technology for supermarkets and has sponsored “World Skills”, a showcase for up and coming chefs.  Chris continues to work with the Company and to also work with other innovators in markets such as medical devices and animal health.

Article Published: IOD Suffolk magazine, June 2012

Tuesday
May082012

Copyright: Here's Looking At You!

We all have them but did you know that photographs can generate copyright and usage disputes?

Michael Batty has just concluded two cases involving photographs. In the first case he negotiated a licensing fee for Clients who had been approached by a large American publisher wishing to use some of their photographs for free. In the second case he helped a photographer with copyright in various photographs enforce a usage agreement of relevance to the subject matter enabling the photographer to proceed with the publication of the photographs as part of a collection.

 

Wednesday
May022012

Dispute over Trading Names

Our client sought advice from Chris Thomson when threatened with court proceedings for infringement of trade mark.

He had traded under the same name since the late 1980s. Another business had just registered that name as a trademark and required him to immediately change his name. They threatened immediate court proceedings seeking injunctions, damages and costs. We considered the threat to be ill conceived and made robust representations in correspondence. The threat has now gone away, without our client having to engage in any court proceedings or incur substantial legal fees. The opponent then complained to Companies House. Following our representations to them they have accepted our client’s position totally and dismissed that complaint.

If you have had a similar experience and would like advice, please contact Chris on 01284 717412 or email christhomson@greene-greene.com.