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Irvine v Talksport Ltd

[2003] EWCA Civ 423

Case summary last updated at 02/02/2020 20:53 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Irvine v Talksport Ltd

C was a famous F1 racing driver, Eddie Irvine. D, TalkSport, was a radio station who won rights to broadcast commentary of F1 races; sent out 1,000 brochures to likely advertisers attempting to get them to advertise between races. Brochure had picture of Eddie Irvine on front, doctored in order to show C holding a radio with words ‘Talk Radio’ (former name of D) on it. Held:
·        Purpose of passing off is to protect C’s exclusive right to use of his reputation or goodwill.
·        Therefore 3 elements of passing off are equally applicable to cases of false endorsement.
·        No need for C to show a specific or direct loss of business, at least in the short-term
Ø  suffices that misrepresentation will cause long-term damage to market value of C’s endorsement
·        On facts:
1)     Eddie Irvine had considerable goodwill as result of popularity of F1 racing.
2)     D’s actions were a misrepresentation that C had endorsed talksport
3)     Was potential for long-term damage to C’s goodwill
-        i.e. damage to market value of C’s endorsement
·        Thus passing off.

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