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The first Intellectual Property Enterprise Court case heard outside London took place recently, when the court sat in Birmingham at the request of both parties involved in the dispute. It concerned an allegation of improper use of a registered trade mark relating to mental health training.
The case arose when an NHS trust developed a mental health approach that used the same acronym (RAID) that had been trade marked by a consultant psychiatrist, who feared the trust's attempts to spread its training would interfere with his own completely different programme. He alleged that the trade mark had been infringed and that the trust had benefited from 'passing off' its service by using his trade mark to gain take-up for its own service.
The Court's approach illustrates the factors that have to be established in such cases, the main ones of which in this case were:
In this instance, the psychiatrist succeeded in his claim.