Posted on 5th March 2019 at 09:00
The Jiff Lemon Case (officially known as Reckitt & Colman Ltd v Borden Inc  1 All E. R. 873) is a leading House of Lords decision (now the Supreme Court!) on the tort of Passing Off.
Passing Off is a common law tort created by judges. Passing off is a type of unfair compensation claim made by holders of registered trademarks to stop or prevent others from copying the mark or packaging of a certain product. The owner of the trademark can receive remedies such as damages or injunctions.
To successfully have a Passing Off case you must show that the goods or services gave acquired goodwill or reputation in the market place that distinguishes it from its competitors. There is a misrepresentation if the Defendant misrepresents the goods, either intentionally or unintentionally, so that the public may have the impression that the offered goods or services are those of the Defendant and this cause the Claimant to suffer damages.
In the Jif lemon case a company called Borden was selling lemon juice in a lemon shaped container similar to that which had been used since 1956 by Jif. Jif were able to obtain an injunction to stop Borden using a lemon shaped container because “a housewife presented with a display of these products would be likely to pick up…the [Realemon] product in the belief that she was buying the respondents Jif lemon juice, as Jif was the only lemon-sized squeezy pack of lemon juice on the market!
So, stick that on your pancake and eat it!
Wishing you a very happy pancake day and hoping that you’ve been well behaved enough for Father Pancake to visit your home!
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