Bird & Bird's passing off milestone

In a major passing off case, the court upheld a 1997 High Court ruling that Cadbury could not use the brand name Swiss Chalet for a chocolate product manufactured in the UK.

The ruling is the latest in a number of passing off cases that have seen the names Scotch whisky, sherry, champagne and advocaat protected. The case underlines the importance of the food and drink industry to the intellectual property sector.

Birds represented Chocosuisse, a co-operative society made up of the major Swiss chocolate manufacturers, and two of its members: Suchard and Lindt.

Peter Brownlow, one of the Birds partners acting for Chocosuisse, comments: “This decision has confirmed Swiss chocolate as a designation that can be protected in the same way as champagne and Scotch whisky.”