Forbes v Kemsley Newspapers Ltd: ChD 1951

The plaintiff was employed by the defendant for over four years to write weekly articles in the Sunday Times and other papers owned by the defendant. She wrote under the name ‘Mary Delane’, which was chosen for her by the defendant. Following termination of the plaintiff’s employment, the defendant continued to publish articles by ‘Mary Delane’, using a different author. The plaintiff brought an action for passing off, seeking an injunction to restrain the defendant’s use of the name. It was conceded by the defendant and accepted by that a person who writes under a pseudonym is entitled to the property in that name as part of his or her stock-in-trade unless there is term, express or implied, to the contrary in an agreement with an employer.
Held: No contrary term was found to exist and the plaintiff was granted her injunction.


Wynn-Parry J


(1951) 68 RPC 183


England and Wales


CitedLanda v Greenberg ChD 1908
The plaintiff journalist had contributed a weekly column for children to The Jewish Chronicle under the name ‘Aunt Naomi’. She had no contract of employment. The Chriicle sometimes made suggestions for the column, but generally she was left to her . .
CitedHines v Winnick ChD 1947
The defendant had been taken on by the plaintiff to conduct and play in an orchestra. The orchestra played in a radio show called Ignorance is Bliss, broadcast by the BBC. In this show the plaintiff used the name ‘Dr Crock’ as the leader of ‘Dr . .

Cited by:

CitedBhayani and Another v Taylor Bracewell Llp IPEC 22-Dec-2016
Distinction between reputation and goodwill
The claimant had practised independently as an employment solicitor. For a period, she was a partner with the defendant firm practising under the name ‘Bhayani Bracewell’. Having departed the firm, she now objected to the continued use of her name, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Updated: 13 April 2022; Ref: scu.572708