Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Greek yoghurt means yoghurt from Greece

Fage UK Ltd & Anor v Chobani UK Ltd & Anor [2013] EWHC 630 (Ch) (26 March 2013)  is what aficionados call an extended passing-off case. The claimant had been selling Greek yoghurt in the UK for some time, while the defendant introduced what it had previously sold in the USA as 'Greek yoghurt' to the British market sometime later. I sampled it at a running bloggers' conference last year - it seemed OK but with what I know now I'd certainly taste the thickening agent - and even came away with a pair of laces, branded with the Chobani name. I certainly won't be using them: not the sort of brand values I wish to be associated with. Anyway they won't fit my huaraches. Anyone want them? Drop me an email.

Nothing surprising about the passing-off claim here: FAGE won. A bit more interesting is the malicious falsehood sideshow, a counterclaim arising from the claimant's approach to Camden trading standards. The judge noted in particular that as he didn't imagine the trading standards department would take action without investigating the allegations first, there was little chance of the defendants (counterclaimants) suffering any damage.

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