WELSH SWEET SHOP IN TROUBLE OVER COUNTERFEIT CHOCOLATE BARS

Trademark issues sometimes arise when one party attempts to use the name or image of a well-known product on their own merchandise. Such was the case when a CWMBRAN owner was fined for labelling fake Wonka Bars.

Sweet66 was found guilty of eight offences of breaching trademark legislation when it was established that they had misled customers by selling chocolate bars that were falsely labelled with Nestle’s WONKA trademark without permission.

It was discovered that chocolate bars bought from a well-known supermarket for 30p and repackaged were being sold for £3 which consequently deceived customers into thinking they had purchased a Nestle product. In addition, certain consumer protection food labelling laws had also not been met. The company was consequently fined a total of £1400.

The strange aspect of this case is that although they started selling the confectionery in September 2012, this continued in spite of being warned by the council’s trading standard service. The owner had tried to register his own “Mr Wonka Bar” without success as quite obviously this was too similar to the existing one owned by Nestle
He was subsequently found guilty of several offences, including the Trade Marks Act 1944, the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

In summing up a case of this nature it becomes clear how important it is to protect one’s trademark from infringement, especially when the offenders are attempting to mislead consumers by marketing a bogus product.

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