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The Importance of Making a Brand Your Own

There was a story published in the media recently about the owner of a convenience store in Hereford who had changed the signage of his shop to look incredibly similar to that of a very famous super market. But what was wrong in him doing this?

Legally, this story fits in to what is known as ‘passing off’. Passing off is a term associated with business and relates to misrepresentation and specifically the passing off goods or services as your own

Businesses have legal rights concerning their company name; it’s packaging, branding and advertising campaigns.

What’s important is that consumers are able to easily distinguish between one brand and another. Because of this, the shop owner ended up having to change his shops signage.

images of the shop’s signage spread via social media and the supermarket were approached for their comments. A spokesman from the store said ‘We do not comment on specific cases but we always take appropriate steps in order to protect our brand.'

David Heys of Lawson West comments, “any ‘David and Goliath’ story is amusing and un-surprisingly this story has gone viral however on a more serious note passing off or any other breach of intellectual property rights can seriously damage the value of your business. If you suspect anyone is taking advantage of your business by exploiting the goodwill that you have generated then you should explore whether or not your intellectual property rights have been breached – call David Heys on 0116 212 1000.

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