A two-year dispute over misuse of accountancy firm's trademark has resulted in the High Court confirming that the defendant GI Outsourcing must pay a £50,000 settlement
AdvanceTrack has settled a two-year legal case against GI Outsourcing, after the company used its brand in a targeted Google Adwords campaign.
Following a trial at Birmingham Civil Justice Centre in July, His Honour Judge James Tindal concluded that GI Outsourcing had infringed AdvanceTrack’s UK registered trademark and had 'passed off its accounting services and business as or connected with or associated in trade with the services and business of the claimant'.
At a form of order hearing, the judge agreed that GI Outsourcing must pay a £50,000 settlement to AdvanceTrack, as the defendant had proposed in January in a bid to settle the dispute. At the same time AdvanceTrack has to pay the defendant's legal costs incurred since January when the initial settlement offer was proposed up until the final Court decision on settlement. GI Outsourcing also has to pay AdvanceTrack’s legal costs incurred up to February of this year.
The judge ordered an injunction prohibiting GI Outsourcing from infringing AdvanceTrack’s trademark or passing off in future and made an order that the company must remove or destroy all infringing material in its possession.
The court order stated: ‘The defendant shall within 14 days of the date of this order remove and deliver up or alternatively destroy all infringing material, articles or papers in the possession, custody or control of the defendant which have been used to commit the said acts of trademark infringement and passing off or which would offend against the aforementioned injunctions.’
As part of the settlement, GI Outsourcing also has to publish a public apology on its website.
Vipul Sheth, founder and managing director of AdvanceTrack, said: ‘We’re pleased that following a long legal battle, justice has been served, and liability finally confirmed by the judge.
‘The accounting industry deserves better than to have industry participants infringing the rights of their competitors. We’ve been working hard to raise standards but when organisations act like this, they are damaging those efforts.’
With legal proceedings concluded, AdvanceTrack has pledged to donate the £50,000 settlement amount to charity.
‘We have been open throughout this litigation that any compensatory payment received from GI Outsourcing would go to charity,’ explained Sheth. ‘The sum of £50,000 will go a long way to helping some very worthy organisations, and we’ll be announcing which charities we will be donating to over the coming weeks.’
In a statement, GI Outsourcing director Tariq Hussain said: 'GI Outsourcing is pleased to confirm that a settlement has been agreed with AdvanceTrack in relation to legal proceedings concerning accidental trade mark infringement contained within Google adverts published in early 2021.
'The settlement reached is a small fraction of the original claim. The court made an order giving effect to the terms of settlement on 1 December. The proceedings have now been concluded.
'The matter stemmed from an error by a third-party marketing agency, which the Court has acknowledged was accidental and caused no commercial gain to GI Outsourcing and no substantial loss to AdvanceTrack.'