The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Paul Jordan, Lucie Fortune and Catriona MacLeod of Bristows LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Many businesses wish to promote their goods or services by reference to those of a competitor to gain a commercial advantage. For example, a business may seek to advertise its products as being of a higher quality or a better price than a competitor’s. The law governing this area strives to provide a balance between the different interests that may be affected by allowing comparative advertising. In short:
advertisements are allowed to highlight the comparable characteristics of products to consumers, but
advertisements must not distort competition, be detrimental to trade mark proprietors or have an adverse effect on consumer choice
This Practice Note examines the following areas:
What is comparative advertising?
What conditions must be satisfied for a comparative advertisement to be lawful?
How does comparative advertising relate to trade mark law?
Enforcement in the UK
Comparative advertising with competitors—checklist
'Comparative advertising' is defined as any advertising which explicitly or by implication identifies a competitor or goods or services offered by a competitor.
In this context, 'advertising' is defined as the making of a representation in any form in connection with a trade, business, craft or profession in order to promote the supply of goods or services, including immovable property, rights or obligations. This is a broad definition and will cover
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