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World Intellectual Property Day: overcoming an alleged trademark infringement

26 April 2024

This World Intellectual Property Day, find out how we’ve been helping to resolve an intellectual property dispute involving a Gloucestershire-based business.

In our day-to-day lives, we encounter trademarks in almost everything we do – from browsing the supermarket aisles to scrolling on our mobile phones. As trademarks are protected, making a copy is a breach of the registered owner’s intellectual property (IP) rights. World Intellectual Property Day is an opportunity to celebrate the role that IP rights, including patents, trademarks and copyright, play in encouraging creativity, innovation and human progress.

In the case of one of our clients, a registered product trademark and its alleged infringement has led to a dispute over the importation and sale of an order of plug sockets.

Founded over 40 years ago by Dennis Boseley, Dean Electrical is a family-owned independent electrical wholesaler based in the Forest of Dean. The business imports a large quantity of electrical items – including everything from electric vehicle chargers to radiators – and sells them on to businesses, installers and consumers alike.

On one occasion, Dean Electrical imported an order of plug sockets from a ‘grey market’ manufacturer in China, which have been alleged to be copies of another product, also manufactured by a Chinese company. This company have alleged that Dean Electrical has infringed its registered trademark by importing and selling on the ‘copied’ products. The case is still ongoing, with the claimant seeking an order for damages and that Dean Electrical carry out a product recall exercise.

Nick Southwell, partner in our litigation & dispute resolution team is leading the case and says:

“Dennis is a successful businessman with a great reputation locally and as such, it’s been rewarding to advise him in this case and to help Dean Electrical begin to move forward from it. One of the main challenges of IP rows like these is managing your reputation as a business, as well as trying to reach a settlement as early as possible. As this case is ongoing, we hope that an outcome can be reached at trial later this year.”

Dennis Boseley spoke highly of his dealings with our intellectual property disputes team and is feeling positive about the future:

“Working with Nick Southwell and Willans has been a great experience and I’m looking forward to moving on from the case once a decision has been reached.”

If your business needs advice on issues relating to IP rights or registered trademarks, please get in touch with our team.

Contact us

Our Legal 500-rated litigation & dispute resolution team help private and commercial clients to resolve a wide range of disputes, including matters that can be resolved through mediation.

World Intellectual Property Day was created by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and “is an opportunity to explore how IP encourages and can amplify the impact of the innovative and creative solutions we need to build our common future.”

Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
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