RJ Reuter Co Ltd v Mulhens: CA 1954

Complaint was made of the use of a the trade mark for ‘4711 Eau de Cologne’ where the figures ‘4711’ appeared within a scroll next to a bell. In fact, the place of business of the defendant company was No. 4711 Koln am Ehein, in Cologne. The defendant contended that the use of the figures ‘4711’ within a scroll and next to a bell identical to that of the registered trade mark for 4711 Eau de Cologne was a use in good faith by the defendant of the company’s name or place of business.
Held: The Court rejected the defence. Although ‘4711’ was the defendant’s place of business, the representation of that place by ’embellishment of the scroll and bell’ was not within the protection of the defence. The fact that the additional material (the scroll and bell) were part of the registered trade mark appears to have dictated this outcome. The envelopes on the outside of which the allegedly infringing mark was placed as advertising matter were sent by post into the United Kingdom by the defendants. It is trite law that the Post Office is the agent of the sender of a letter to carry it, and thus it was the defendants who were to be taken to have delivered the letter to the recipients and to have displayed the mark to them within this jurisdiction.


Lord Evershed MR and Romer LJ


[1954] Ch 50

Cited by:

CitedStarbucks (HK) Ltd and Another v British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc and Others SC 13-May-2015
The court was asked whether, as the appellants contended, a claimant who is seeking to maintain an action in passing off need only establish a reputation among a significant section of the public within the jurisdiction, or whether, as the courts . .
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Intellectual Property

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.566022