Own label copycat brands face EU scrutiny

Supermarkets that produce own-label products that resemble established branded goods, will face closer scrutiny and potential financial penalties after a European Commission report accuses them of “parasitic copying”.

Pitchers and Pimms

The European Commission report on the “parasitic copying” of branded products, has found that lookalike brands “take unfair advantage of the reputation of the products copied and divert sales” and suggests that brand owners suffer sales losses because of what are described as clone brands.

The report, which investigated 27 member states and looked at six nations in depth, found that treatment and laws against lookalike brands are inconsistent across the EU and could amount to a barrier to trade between member states.

The report recommends “harmonisation” across the EU and suggests that cases of “parasitic copying” should be heard in the same courts as trademark infringement and unfair competition claims.

Under current practise in the UK, whether a consumer is confused is of paramount importance, and if a brand imitation does not confuse or mislead the public, it is a perfectly legitimate.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here