The Harris Tweed Authority has won £25,000 in damages after a court battle with a chain of shops over the Harris Tweed trademark.
The statutory body established to safeguard the standard and reputation of Harris Tweed went to court after a retail chain infringed its registered marks.
The Authority launched the legal action following concerns that a number of retail outlets were using the Harris Tweed ® name and famous Orb device on the outside of their premises without permission, creating a false impression that the Harris Tweed Authority was in some way associated with the outlets.
In February 2017, the Authority raised an action in the Court of Session, Edinburgh against Cashmere & Tartans Limited (trading as Tartan House of Scotland.
The Authority’s lawyers, Burness Paull LLP, had previously written to the company to object to its use of these registered marks but no response was received.
The action sought to prevent the continued misuse of the Harris Tweed ® name and orb symbol by Cashmere & Tartans Limited across its seven retail stores located throughout central Scotland. On 8 March 2018 the Authority obtained a Court order which contained permanent interdict preventing Cashmere & Tartans Limited or anyone on its behalf from infringing the Authority’s registered marks by affixing these marks or similar signs to their various stores frontage and on their website.
In addition, the interdict order also prevents the Company from suggesting their retail services are connected or authorised by the Authority, or from passing off goods as Harris Tweed when they are in fact not made from the famous Hebridean cloth.
The Authority was also awarded the expenses of the action, damages of £25,000 and the right to publish a notice regarding the Court decision in the media at the sole cost of Cashmere & Tartans Limited.
The Authority said the legal action underlined how determined it was to ensure that Harris Tweed maintains its reputation as being a luxury product and with unique and special methods of manufacture.
Lorna MacAulay, chief executive of the Harris Tweed Authority said: “We believe the outcome of this case was the correct one. It has taken generations to build Harris Tweed into the global success that it is today, and it is imperative that we safeguard it for future generations to enjoy.
"The Harris Tweed Authority takes its statutory duty to protect the brand very seriously. We continue to work closely with our lawyers Burness Paull LLP to maintain the integrity of the Harris Tweed brand and to curb any infringement of it, be that online or in retail stores. ”
The Harris Tweed Authority is a statutory body established under the Harris Tweed Act 1993. One of its primary objectives is to safeguard the standard and reputation of HARRIS TWEED ®. It does so on behalf of the Harris Tweed industry now and for the generations to follow.
For more information on the Harris Tweed Authority please visit www.harristweed.org