Q&As

Under the UK law of passing off, would using a phrase such as ‘inspired by [name of film director]’ in relation to the sale of products with such products also inspired by a particular film or [name of film director], without permission, amount to a misrepresentation that [name of film director] has endorsed the products or that a commercial arrangement exists between the parties?

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Published on LexisPSL on 24/06/2019

The following IP Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Under the UK law of passing off, would using a phrase such as ‘inspired by [name of film director]’ in relation to the sale of products with such products also inspired by a particular film or [name of film director], without permission, amount to a misrepresentation that [name of film director] has endorsed the products or that a commercial arrangement exists between the parties?

Under the UK law of passing off, would using a phrase such as ‘inspired by [name of film director]’ in relation to the sale of products with such products also inspired by a particular film or [name of film director], without permission, amount to a misrepresentation that [name of film director] has endorsed the products or that a commercial arrangement exists between the parties?

Passing off is an established cause of action in cases where the name or image of a well-known person is used without permission to endorse or advertise products. In order to demonstrate the necessary goodwill, it is probably necessary for the person to be in the position of commanding fees for product endorsements. In the leading case Irvine v Talksport Ltd, Talksport used a photograph of Formula 1 driver Eddie Irvine without permission, doctoring it to replace the image of his mobile telephone with one of its branded radios. Eddie

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