A north west-based distributor of men’s suits and clothing advised by specialist law firm Taylors Solicitors has won a court ruling over trademarks which turns the tables on the rival trader who brought the case.
Taylors’ head of intellectual property Tony Catterall represented Centurion Traders Limited, based in Blackburn, in the case brought by Sheroze Nadeem, who is also a solicitor.
Mr Nadeem had alleged that Centurion had infringed his brand’s trademark and was passing off its business as that of his.
However, at a hearing in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, Centurion successfully applied for summary judgment and had the claims struck out – and the judge ordered Mr Nadeem’s own trademark VII CLOTHING to be revoked and for him to pay costs, which run into five figures.
Centurion director Wasime Patel said Mr Nadeem had sought to block his company’s legitimate activities.
Mr Patel added that his legal victory now meant Centurion ‘could get on with its business of distributing high-quality men’s suits and clothing’.
Mr Catterall said: “This was a speculative claim brought by Mr Nadeem based firstly on the false premise that he had somehow ‘inherited’ goodwill in a defunct business operated by his father, notwithstanding that it had ceased trading many years ago.
“Secondly, that he could allege infringement of a trademark that had been in existence since 2017 but hardly used, if at all.
“I was pleased that my advice that Centurion go for an early strike out of the claim and summary judgment on the counterclaim was a complete success, leaving the claimant to reflect on the failure of his claim, the revocation of his trademark and a costs liability summarily assessed by the judge at £20,000.”
Mr Catterall explained: “Mr Nadeem had claimed that the brand V2 had been passed to him by his father notwithstanding that his father’s company V2 (UK) Limited had been wound up by HMRC in 2006.
“Mr Nadeem registered a new trademark VII CLOTHING in 2017 and claimed that he had acquired continuing goodwill from his father, despite the absence of any trading between 2006 and 2017.
“He issued a claim against Centurion and its director Wasime Patel, who is the owner of the V2 CLASSIC wordmark, which dates from 2010 and is licensed to Centurion, and also against Mubarack Issa, the owner of a later figurative trademark V2 CLASSIC, which dates from 2022 and is also licensed to Centurion.
“Centurion, Mr Patel and Mr Issa defended the proceedings and brought a counterclaim for revocation of Mr Nadeem’s mark, together with an application for strike out or summary judgment of the trademark infringement and passing off claims, which was heard on May 15.”
Mr Patel said: “I am delighted with the outcome of the summary judgment hearing on 15 May.
“Sheroze Nadeem’s objective was to block the legitimate activities of Centurion. I am delighted with the advice provided by Tony Catterall of Taylors Solicitors, who saw a way through these unsubstantiated claims and successfully applied for summary judgment bringing the action to court and a speedy conclusion in just over a month from issue of the application.
“Centurion can now get on with its business of distributing top-quality men’s suits and clothing.”