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Cafe bar wins damages from rival firm with similar name

Posted: 10th December 2013   In: Dispute Resolution

A cafe bar has won damages from a rival firm that set up using a similar name.

Bocacina Ltd had operated a successful bar, restaurant and gallery inBristolsince 2005. It was sometimes referred to locally as the Bocabar or just Boca, and some of its meals and services were provided under the mark of ‘boca’.

The Bocabar had benefited from considerable press coverage including reviews in local guides and newspapers, as well as on websites promotingBristol.

In 2013, another firm set up as Bica Bistro Cafe, about three miles from the Bocabar.

Bocabar objected saying that the minor difference in name would not be enough to prevent confusion among its customers who would think that the two enterprises were linked. It sought damages for passing off.

The court ruled in favour of Bocabar, It said the evidence showed that the words Bocabar and Boca had significant goodwill inBristolin relation to restaurant, bar and cafe services, as well as to an art gallery and music venue.

Because Bica Bistro Cafe was also inBristoland had a similar name, there was a real likelihood that a significant number of people would have been confused into thinking that there was a connection with Bocabar.

The court found that Bica had misrepresented to the public that its business was connected with Bocabar. It followed therefore that the claim for passing off succeeded.

Please contact Neil O’Callaghan for more information about the issues raised in this article or any matter relating to protecting your business. 

Posted by: Neil O'Callaghan
Commercial Litigation
Luton Office