How not to get sued when doing critical campaigning: Mat Healey writes for Governance & Leadership

Mat Healey, Partner & Head of Trademarks, has blogged (£) for Governance & Leadership on how charities can avoid getting sued for trademark infringement when campaigning against large corporates.

Addressing the various obstacles that face many charities in this area, Mat cautions organisations across the charities sector to exercise prudence and restraint when seeking to run campaigns that criticise the actions of major corporates.

Mat points to the obvious defamation risks that surround activities of this kind, urging charities to tread carefully when expressing views of a particular organisation that may give rise to controversy.

Aside from pitfalls in the above-mentioned area, Mat underlines how ‘soft IP’, such as registered trademarks and copyright, needs to be carefully taken into account in any campaign.

With respect to the tone of campaigning adopted by some organisations Mat says ‘it’s not enough for the campaign to be amusing or to send up its target’, and explains how the ‘worst-case scenario is a very serious one: a court injunction curtailing your campaign and an award of compensation and/or legal costs against you’.

If you’d like to read more of Mat’s insights, you can find his piece (which sits behind a paywall) in its entirety here.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of November 18, 2019.