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Eversheds Sutherland wins significant victory for Holland & Barrett in the English Court of Appeal

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    Eversheds Sutherland has won a significant victory for Holland & Barrett in the English Court of Appeal.

    The global IP team successfully overturned a decision of the High Court (Chancery Division) on the correct interpretation of a “termination for non-use” clause in a trade mark licence.

    The case formed part of a hard-fought dispute between US-based GNC, the world’s largest retailer of sports nutrition supplements, and Holland & Barrett. It related to an exclusive trade mark licence granted by GNC to Holland & Barrett to use the GNC brand in the UK.

    The Eversheds Sutherland team was led by IP Partner Adrian Toutoungi, supported by IP Senior Associate Andrew Garbett and commercial dispute resolution Associates Nicola Thompson and Rosanna Arenare. Counsel were Michael Bloch QC and Shane Sibbel of Blackstone Chambers.

    Adrian Toutoungi commented:

    “GNC was determined to terminate this trade mark licence and re-enter the UK market, serving six notices of termination and relying on over 50 alleged breaches, each of which was alleged separately to be material.

    “The outcome in the Court of Appeal was particularly pleasing as the “termination for non-use” issue was the only point on which Holland & Barrett had been unsuccessful at first instance. This handed the client a comprehensive victory and a resounding confirmation of its continued exclusive rights to use the GNC brand in the UK.”



    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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