Mobile phone fascias

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.

Examples

Examples may include most Premier League football clubs; Formula 1 teams; sportswear manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas, Umbro, Puma; motor manufacturers such as Ferrari; The Simpsons and South Park together with the more traditional Disney and Warner Brothers cartoon characters. The range is large and ever increasing.

It is important to note that the popularity of such names and characters will invariably mean that they have been registered as trade marks. This may not be just the name, logo or device, but the depiction of the character itself or a commonly used expression or saying associated with the character. The effect on you is that such products can only be sold with the authorisation of the trade mark proprietor (eg Manchester United Football club, Nike, Adidas,Umbro, Walt Disney, Warner Brothers etc).

Labelling

Examples may include most Premier League football clubs; Formula 1 teams; sportswear manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas, Umbro, Puma; motor manufacturers such as Ferrari; The Simpsons and South Park together with the more traditional Disney and Warner Brothers cartoon characters. The range is large and ever increasing.

It is important to note that the popularity of such names and characters will invariably mean that they have been registered as trade marks. This may not be just the name, logo or device, but the depiction of the character itself or a commonly used expression or saying associated with the character. The effect on you is that such products can only be sold with the authorisation of the trade mark proprietor (eg Manchester United Football club, Nike, Adidas,Umbro, Walt Disney, Warner Brothers etc).

Disclaimers

Disclaimer notices such as 'Reproduction/Fake/Brand Copy' do not offer any protection and goods offered for sale in contravention of this legislation are likely to be seized by Trading Standards Officers. You may also be prosecuted and the courts are likely to order the forfeiture of the goods which were seized.

Enforcement

Trading Standards have a legal duty to enforce this law and often work with the police when they do. The Police can arrest people for Trade Marks Act offences and the Courts can impose heavy penalties. These can be unlimited fines and prison sentences of up to ten years.

Whilst this leaflet is primarily aimed at the sale and distribution of mobile phone accessories it is also relevant to any product bearing a registered trade mark such as sportswear, perfumes, motor accessories, computer software. Again the range is both large and ever increasing.

If you are considering dealing in products which may be covered by the Trade Marks Act 1994 examine them carefully before you buy from your supplier. Always ask for evidence of authenticity and get a detailed receipt. If you have any doubts at all, the best advice is not to buy. If necessary seek legal advice or contact your local Trading Standards office for assistance.