Galway egg company wins appeal over injunction refusal

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The Court of Appeal has ruled that a company selling free-range eggs is entitled to a permanent injunction restraining a competitor from passing off their goods. 

The three-judge court today overturned a 2016 High Court ruling that Galway Free Range Eggs Ltd, which sell eggs under the "Galway Free Range Eggs" brand, was not entitled to orders against rivals Hillsbrook Eggs Ltd and its directors Kevin O'Brien and his daughter Carmel O'Brien.

It was claimed the defendants passed off their goods as the goods of the plaintiff by offering goods for sale under the name "O'Briens of Galway Free Range Eggs."

The Court of Appeal held that Galway Free Range Eggs Ltd is entitled to an injunction restraining the defendants from trading under the name "O'Briens of Galway Free Range Eggs". 

Galway Free Range Eggs Ltd of Craigmore, Claregalway had sought various orders restraining the defendants from continuing to packaging their eggs under the name "O'Brien's of Galway Free Range Eggs".

The defendants had denied the claims and had opposed the action.

It was claimed that from 2012 onwards the defendants of Barnaderg Tuam, Co Galway began packing their own eggs and selling them as "O Briens of Galway Free Range Eggs." 

In 2016, the High Court found that Galway Free Range Eggs had failed to establish the defendants used the O'Brien name and the geographic name of the egg's county of origin in a manner which did not accord with honest practices.

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Giving the appeal court's judgment Ms Justice Caroline Costello said Galway Free Range Eggs, having established that the defendants had committed the wrongful act of passing off, was entitled to an injunction to protect its reputation and goodwill in its brand name. 

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