Statutory defences

Section 122 of the TMA provides defences to trade mark infringement in circumstances where the mark used by the alleged infringer has been used in good faith and the mark is:

  • the person’s own name (as to uses of abbreviations or variation’s of the defendant’s name, see here).
  • the person’s place of business;
  • the name of a predecessor in business or the predecessor’s place of business;
  • used to indicate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, geographical origin, or some other characteristic, of goods or services;
  • used to indicate the time of production of goods or of the rendering of services;
  • used to indicate the intended purpose of goods (in particular as accessories or spare parts) or services; or
  • used in comparative advertising (strangely there seems to be no “good faith” requirement here;

Section 122 also extends protection to persons who:

  • are exercising a right to use a trade mark given to that person under the TMA;
  • would obtain registration of the registered mark or the mark used if they were to apply for it;




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