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Willoughby & Partners has won a Court of Appeal (CA) victory for client Asprey & Garrard in a trademark infringement and passing off case.
In a judgment handed down by the CA, it was held that the "own name defence" was not available to a new company. The court ruled that the goodwill associated with the name Asprey belonged to Asprey & Garrard, not William Asprey, who was attempting to open premises under his own name in competition with Asprey & Garrard. Tony Willoughby, senior partner at Willoughbys, said: "Nobody could sensibly trade in the same field as my client under a name incorporating the name Asprey without there being a severe risk of confusion." Simon Thorley QC of Three New Square was instructed by Willoughbys for the claimant. Michael Bloch QC of Wilberforce Chambers, which he joined from One Essex Court with Terence Mowschenson QC last year (The Lawyer, 28 February 2000), was instructed by Speechly Bircham for the defendants. The judges in the CA were Lord Justice Gibson, Lord Justice Chadwick and Lord Justice Kay.