John Walker and Sons Ltd v Henry Ost and Co Ltd: ChD 1970

The plaintiff whisky distiller claimed in passing-off against the defendant who supplied bottles and labels to a distiller in Ecuador.
Held: An injunction was granted. Having cited from Singer v Loog, the court added: ‘I would be slow to decide that if a trader in England sells goods and labels which are true and has no knowledge of any improper use of those goods in a foreign country, such trader has committed a tort in England. But when I have already held as a fact that Mr Jindrich Ost, the proprietor of the first defendant, not only knew that the second defendant was going to add cane spirit and sell it as Scotch Whisky but intended that the whisky which was supplied should be admixed, bottled and have the labels put on the bottle describing it as Scotch Whisky, then in my judgment the first defendant’s acts in selling those instruments amount to tortious acts done in England.’


Foster J


[1970] RPC 489, [1970] 2 All ER 106, [1970] 1 WLR 917


England and Wales


CitedSinger Manufacturing Co v Loog CA 1880
The defendant wholesalers imported sewing machines from Germany which they sold using documents which referred to the machines as using the Singer system. The word Singer was a trade mark of the plaintiffs. The retailers were told that the machines . .

Cited by:

CitedBritish Telecommunications Plc; Virgin Enterprises Ltd; J Sainsbury Plc; Marks and Spencer Plc and Ladbroke Group Plc v One In a Million Ltd and others CA 23-Jul-1998
Registration of a distinctive Internet domain name using registered trade marks and company names could be an infringement of a registered Trade Mark, and also passing off. It was proper to grant quia timet injunctions where necessary to stop . .
CitedWhite Horse Distillers Ltd v Gregson Associates Ltd 1984
Complaint was made that the defendants were assisting traders in Ecuador in passing off their products as those of the plaintiff.
Held: ‘He [defence counsel] submitted that there can never be a tort where the English exporter exports nothing . .
CitedHP Bulmer Ltd and Another v J Bollinger Sa and others CA 22-May-1974
Necessity for Reference to ECJ
Lord Denning said that the test for whether a question should be referred to the European Court of Justice is one of necessity, not desirability or convenience. There are cases where the point, if decided one way, would shorten the trial greatly. . .
CitedFage UK Ltd and Another v Chobani UK Ltd and Another CA 28-Jan-2014
Lewison LJ said: ‘Appellate courts have been repeatedly warned, by recent cases at the highest level, not to interfere with findings of fact by trial judges, unless compelled to do so. This applies not only to findings of primary fact, but also to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Updated: 01 July 2022; Ref: scu.239090