The Consumer Protection of Unfair Commercial Practice Regulations which creates a general prohibition on Undertaking unfair commercial practices (promoting a product similar to a product made by a particular manufacturer in such a manner to deliberately mislead the consumer into believing that the product is made by that manufacturer when it is not for example is deemed unfair according to the law); and
Section 92 of the Trademark Act 1994 – Unauthorised use of a Trademark.
Defences for Trademark Offences
It is a defence to show that you believed on reasonable grounds that the use of the sign was not an infringement of the registered trademark.
Defences for Undertaking unfair commercial practices
For some (not all) Unfair Commercial Practices offences it is a defence to show that you exercised all ‘Professional Diligence’ – this is defined as ‘the standard of special skill and care which a trader may reasonably be expected to exercise’.
We will be able to advise you whether you have a defence to the particular offence which you are being investigated for as not all offences have this defence available in law.
Trading Standards penalties
The penalties for trading standards offences range from education, local authority enforcement orders to prevent further offences, cautions or a criminal prosecution.
We are often able to make representations on your behalf to persuade the Trading Standards not to take criminal or court proceedings against you.
Trading Standards Prosecutions
If a prosecution is brought against you the courts sentencing options range from a Fine up to a term of imprisonment according to the nature of the behaviour, the scale and value of the operation.
It is important that you seek legal advice and assistance at the earliest stage to avoid the matter escalating to court proceeding – we are able to defend and provide robust mitigation on your behalf to avoid criminal prosecutions where possible.