Unfair competition can harm honest businesses by stealing their customers and damaging their reputations. To prevent this from happening, the law of Passing off was established. This law is based on the principle that unfair competition is calculated to destroy honest business and should not be allowed. Its objective is to restrain commercial piracy and ensure that businesses can operate fairly and without fear of being undercut or undermined by competitors.
The law of Passing off is not limited to cases of pure trademarks. It applies to any situation where a business is being misrepresented or misrepresented to customers. For example, if a business copies the packaging or branding of a well-known product, they could be sued for Passing off. The law is based on a “wider principle,” which means that the court will always interfere by injunction to restrain irreparable injury being done to the plaintiff’s property. In other words, if a business is suffering harm from unfair competition, the court can step in to protect them.
One interesting aspect of the law of Passing off is that it treats unregistered trademarks in the same way as registered trademarks. This means that if a business is using a name, logo, or other branding that is not registered, they can still be sued for Passing off. In respect of trademark offenses, penalties, and procedures, and in all civil actions contemplated in sections 134 and 135, an unregistered trademark is placed on the same footing as a registered trademark. The only exception is the specific provision in section 27(2) for obtaining civil remedies on the basis of an action of passing off.
In conclusion, the law of Passing off is an essential tool for protecting honest businesses from unfair competition. It ensures that businesses can operate fairly and without fear of being undercut or undermined by competitors. This law is not limited to cases of pure trademarks and applies to any situation where a business is being misrepresented to customers. The fact that unregistered trademarks are treated in the same way as registered trademarks highlight the importance of protecting intellectual property and preventing unfair competition.