Business Irish

Monday 11 December 2017

Brennans the bakers get 48 hours to change brown bread packaging

Tim Healy

BRENNANS the bakers have been given 48 hours to change packaging on one of their brown bread products following a Supreme Court ruling today.

The bread company today lost an appeal against a High Court ruling last year that the packaging, introduced in January 2011, was confusingly similar to that used by rivals McCambridge.

McCambridge, of Rathcoole in Dublin, obtained High Court orders preventing Joseph Brennan Bakeries from using similar packaging on a similar wholewheat bread product which both companies bake.

McCambridge claimed Brennans was "passing off" its bread as that which is produced by McCambridge and had intentionally set out to imitate the packaging its product and make it confusingly similar similar to the McCambridge 500gramme Irish stone-ground rectangular loaf in a resealable bag.

In November, the High Court granted McCambridge an injunction and Brennans then appealed to the Supreme Court which heard the matter last month.

In a four-one majority decision, the Supreme Court today dismissed the Brennans appeal.

Giving the majority judgment, Mr Justice John McMenamin said he was satisfied that the tests for passing off, as laid down in case law, had been met and the High Court judge was therefore correct in his decision.

The court rejected an application from lawyers for Brennans to give them four weeks to change the packaging on the bread. Chief Justice Susan Denham put a stay on the court's order for only 48 hours which means the packaging will have to be changed by then.

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