Irvine, Tidswell Ltd v Talksport Ltd: ChD 13 Mar 2002

The defendants used a distorted image of the claimant, a famous racing driver, to endorse its product. He claimed damages in passing off.
Held: On the facts, the famous racing driver Eddie Irvine had a property right in his goodwill which he could protect from unlicensed appropriation consisting of a false claim or suggestion of endorsement of a third party’s goods or business. Nothing prevented an action for passing off succeeding in a false endorsement case. The claimant had to show significant reputation and goodwill, and that a false message had been delivered which would have been understood by sufficient people to indicate his desire to associate himself with the defendant.
It is not a necessary feature of merchandising that members of the public will think the products are in any sense endorsed by the film makers or actors in the film. They are bought by members of the public who found the film enjoyable and want a reminder of it.
The defendant’s financial position was irrelevant to the measure of damages because there was ‘no question of a reasonable endorsement fee being assessed on the basis that the defendant had no money and therefore could not pay’
Laddie J said: ‘The fact that the claimant, no doubt for tax reasons, makes his endorsement available through companies does not alter the fact that it is his fame and personality which is being exploited and that the misrepresentation made to the relevant public, who would know nothing about his corporate arrangements, is that it is he who had endorsed the defendant’s radio station.’

Laddie J
Gazette 23-May-2002, [2002] EWHC 367 (Ch), [2002] EMLR 32, [2002] 2 All ER 414, (2002) 25(6) IPD 25039, [2002] 1 WLR 2355, [2002] FSR 60
England and Wales
See AlsoIrvine and Another v Talksport Ltd CA 18-Jan-2002
The claimants renewed their application for permission to appeal from an order granting an application made by the defendant, Talksport Ltd, to exclude certain evidence which the claimants appeared to wish to adduce at the trial of the action. Mr . .

Cited by:
CitedFuture Publishing Ltd v The Edge Interactive Media Inc and Others ChD 13-Jun-2011
The claimant said that the defendant had infriged its rights by the use of its logo on their publications. . .
Appeal fromIrvine and others v Talksport Ltd CA 1-Apr-2003
Mr Irvine brought an action in passing off against the defendants who were said to have used his image in its advertising, but without his consent. The claimant appealed against the damages awarded (andpound;2,000) and the defendant appealed against . .
Cited32Red Plc v WHG (International) Ltd and Others ChD 12-Apr-2013
The court had found trade mark infringement by the defendant and now considered the quantification of damages. . .
CitedFenty and Others v Arcadia Group Brands Ltd and Another CA 22-Jan-2015
. .
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, Damages

Updated: 05 December 2021; Ref: scu.170107