The valuable intangible that is protected by the tort of passing off is goodwill. And goodwill is built on use: it is use that creates a customer connection. However, what happens to that valuable intangible when there is a cessation of use? This article considers the phenomenon of dissipation of goodwill and highlights the multifactorial approach used to establish when goodwill has died. It will show that the multifactorial approach adopted by the courts mirrors the rationale of the tort: rather than protecting against misappropriation per se it seeks to protect successful traders where consumer misinformation is likely. This rationale ensures that competition is not unduly hampered. Of course, as property, goodwill can be lost under the doctrine of abandonment. The article warns that this doctrine should be sparingly applied to the tort as consumer misinformation could result from its application.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Intellectual Property Quarterly|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Nov 2015|
- Intellectual Property Tort Passing Off Goodwill Abandonment Dissipation