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(1) Phones 4U Ltd (2) Caudwell Holdings Ltd v (1) Phone4u.co.uk Internet Ltd (2) Abdul Heykali (3) New World Communications (Southern Division) LTD [2006]

A claim for passing off succeeded where a company had acquired the requisite goodwill and reputation in the expression ‘phones4u’ at he relevant time and the evidence showed instances of damaging misrepresentation.

26 May 2006

The appellant mobile phone companies (C) appealed against a decision ([2005] EWHC 334 (Ch)) dismissing their claim against the second respondent (H) for passing off or for infringement of registered trade mark. C were well known mobile phone retailers that had as a registered trade mark a red, white and blue logo containing the words “phones4u” in stylised form and the registered domain name “phones4u.co.uk”. H had registered and used the domain names and email addresses “phone4u.co.uk” and “phone4u.com” in the same year as C registered its domain name. The trial judge found that on the evidence C had not acquired the goodwill in the expression “phones4u” to found a passing off action at the time that H registered the domain name and that there had only been confusion and not deception in H’s use of that domain name. The trade mark infringement failed because the judge found that C’s mark was limited to the combination of red, white and blue colours. C submit...

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