Passing Off Sparks Court Case

York Trading Standards claimed that Pearce’s firm used quotation forms bearing the logo of the National Association Of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) and used a trust mark linked to the same organisation. Pearce also displayed the logo inappropriately on his firm’s website. In his defence, Pearce claimed he had not run a business previously and obtained help from someone else in the same occupation. This third party had given him quotation and invoice forms he had copied. He had not realised that his website could be accessed by the public! This is clearly a serious matter for all trade associations where its members are offering services to the wider public where non-members can piggy-back on the Associations good quality guides and codes of conduct without actually signing up to them themselves. It is important for trade associations to be aware of situations of this nature but not just with organisations purporting to be members but with lapsed members continuing to use the trade association logo, trust marks etc once they have withdrawn from membership.