What's in a Name? Goodwill in Early Passing Off Cases
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 08:37 by Ian Tregoning
In 1915 in the landmark House of Lords' case of Spalding v Gamage, Lord Parker of Waddington identified goodwill as an element of passing-off, but without invoking clear authority for this view. This article goes in search of this authority. As a basis for this search, it considers the meaning and nature of goodwill, with particular emphasis on its sources. Then it examines passingoff cases before Spalding v Gamage, dating back to the earliest, to determine whether harm to the sources of goodwill may be found. Considerable evidence for harm to these sources and thus to goodwill itself is found in these cases. Accordingly, Lord Parker of Waddington's identification, albeit equivocal, of goodwill as an element of passing-off may be seen as well-founded in the case law.