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Woodworks

Where and how do you draw the line?

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If this continues to be a problem - there may be something you can do legally under 'passing-off'.  This law prevents another company from trading with the same name and/or offering the same goods.  In effect - using the goodwill and reputation you have built up for their benefit.

 

You don't have to be registered or have a trade mark - it falls under a greater set of laws of Intellectual Property.

 

It may be worth a quick chat with a lawyer if it gets more of a problem.  As I understand it - you would have to be able to assert that it was causing trading issues for you, hurting your reputation, etc.  Legally that there was some kind of 'infringement'.

 

Not every lawyer has the skills to advise you.  Make sure you use someone with a track record in this slightly specialised area.

 

It may be all that it takes is for a letter to the principal at the other business, formerly warning them of the issues.  Listening to your side of the story - it should be them, not you considering a name change.

 

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I think for passing off you would have to be working in the same area. There were two firms local to me that went to court over this a while back, cost them both a heap of money and the looser had to state that he didn’t work in certain areas.

Im not sure how things would change now with the net making the world smaller and there are impacts on to the OPs business. 

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I don’t seem to be able to copy a link from my phone but look up Redwoods passing off if your interested.

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Interesting to hear there might be a legal rout if need be but it's not come to that yet. Just got my dander up last night when we get a rubbish review for logs that were not supplied by us. Much happier now it it's been removed. 

 

Rather not mention names at present Mick. 

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I understand, but if it’s something generic like ‘logs to you” or the like then it’s up to you to change your name to something more distinctive.

 

You can’t own basic job/trade descriptions. 

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10 minutes ago, Woodworks said:

Interesting to hear there might be a legal rout if need be but it's not come to that yet. Just got my dander up last night when we get a rubbish review for logs that were not supplied by us. Much happier now it it's been removed. 

 

Rather not mention names at present Mick. 

One of the tests for an action of passing off is whether or not someone is likely to confuse the businesses. If you've had a review because someone mistook your business for the other, you are half way to proving your case already. 

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24 minutes ago, Arborist said:

I don’t seem to be able to copy a link from my phone but look up Redwoods passing off if your interested.

WWW.HUMPHREYS.CO.UK

Small local tree-surgery business succeeds in passing off action Redwood Tree Services Ltd has succeeded in a...

 

 

It's not straightforward and highly dependant on locality and of course reviews are available anywhere.

 

I did to work for the previous owner before he sold the business but not the present owner.

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13 hours ago, Woodworks said:

It was brought to our attention some time ago that another firm had started trading under the same name as us. Now we only selling logs locally so another firm 100 odd miles away was no problem as far as we were concerned. Then we start getting folk ringing up wanting logs from the other business. Again not a big issue as its not that often but a bit of a pain. I contacted the owner and they said they would add some geographic description to help stop this and it has more or less worked. Now for the first time we get a crappy review from a guy we have never supplied who has a bag of wet logs (not that we sell in bags either). Starting to get a bit pi$$ed off with this but our name is not trademarked so how might we amicably get this sorted? Thanks 

I know which business you mean, I have seen it on other sites and thought🤔 then realised. 

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