Oatly loses trademark battle against Glebe Farm over oat milkon August 5, 2021 at 3:31 pm

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Cambridgeshire’s Glebe Farm Foods PureOaty drink does not copy the Oatly branding, a judge rules.

Dog licking an Oatly carton

image sourceAFP

A family-run farm has won a legal battle against the multimillion-pound makers of plant milk, Oatly, which accused it of trademark infringement.

Oatly brought legal action against Glebe Farm Foods, in Cambridgeshire, saying their product PureOaty took “unfair advantage” of their own drink.

A High Court judge ruled in favour of the farm saying he did not see “any risk of injury to the distinctive character” of the Oatly brand.

The farm said it was “gratifying”.

Oatly was founded in the 1990s and produces a milk substitute made from oats.

The brand is endorsed by a number of celebrities including Oprah Winfrey.

During the two-day hearing in June, the court heard Oatly had sold more than £38m worth of its “barista edition” oat milk, and more than £13m of other varieties.

Glebe Farm Foods, based near Huntingdon, launched an oat milk in 2019 called “Oat Drink”, before rebranding it “PureOaty” in 2020.

Oatly’s lawyers said the farm had infringed five of their firm’s trademarks with the “PureOaty” name and the drink’s packaging, as well as “passing off” their product as Oatly’s.

Oatly-Sues-PureOaty

image sourceSupplied

Glebe Farm Foods, run by brother and sister Philip and Rebecca Rayner, denied the claims.

Ruling in favour of the farm, Judge Nicholas Caddick QC, said while there were similarities between the initial PureOaty packaging and the Oatly packaging, including the use of the colour blue and the use of an irregular font for the product name, these were “at a very general level”.

“It is hard to see how any relevant confusion would arise from the defendant’s use of the sign ‘PureOaty’,” he said.

He concluded: “On the facts of this case, I do not see that there is any risk of injury to the distinctive character of Oatly’s marks.”

Philip and Rebecca Rayner

image sourceGlebe Farm Foods

Mr Rayner said his farm had “always felt certain that we have done nothing wrong”.

“You only need to look at the two products and packaging side by side to appreciate how different these brands are, and how unnecessary this legal action was,” he said.

“It is enormously gratifying… to see that smaller independent companies can fight back and win.”

A spokeswoman for Oatly said the company would not be appealing the decision.

“For us, this case has always been about protecting our trademark and how the single letter Y creates too much of a similarity between Oaty and Oatly.”

She said Oatly wished Glebe Farm Foods “total success… moving forward”, but added: “We just think they should do so in their own unique voice, just like we do.”

presentational grey line

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email eastofenglandnews@bbc.co.uk

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

NHS Covid-19 app in England and Wales tweaked to notify fewer contactson August 2, 2021 at 8:54 pm

The app in England and Wales will now only alert contacts from the previous two days in asymptomatic cases.The NHS Covid-19 app in England...

Basic Things You Should Know About Business Cards

Business cards are the basic contact that helps the business in getting the kind of leads they need. However, there are many options that...

These are the people Facebook put in charge of deciding whether to delete controversial posts

KEY POINTS Facebook announced the first 20 members of its Oversight Board. The board is an independent body that can overturn the company’s own...

Stock-market rally may show investors are asking the ‘wrong question’ about coronavirus and reopening the economy

The rebound by the U.S. stock market off its March 23 coronavirus low is impressive, but it might be predicated on the wrong question,...

Florida plans to fine social media for banning politicianson May 1, 2021 at 12:26 am

The Florida bill proposes fines up to $250,000 per day for companies which violate the rules.The Florida bill proposes fines up to $250,000 per...