oatly new

Source: Oatly

Oatly appealed a decision made in an IPO trademark hearing, initiated by the dairy association, that had banned the use of the phrase

Oatly has won its appeal in the High Court to use it’s ’Post Milk Generation’ trademark on food and drink products.

The dairy alternative giant appealed a decision made in an IPO trademark hearing, initiated by the dairy sector’s main trade association, that had initially banned the use of the phrase.

Dairy UK argued that it was unlawful to use the term ‘milk’ in a trademark “in relation to products that are not mammary secretions”.

The High Court decision found that the oat milk company could use the phrase on its products, effectively overturning a decision made in an IPO hearing that found against it.

“We’re pleased the appeal to the Intellectual Property Office was approved, and that the Post Milk Generation is alive and well,” said Bryan Carroll, general manager at Oatly UK & Ireland.

“Our mission is to make it easier for people to live healthier lives without recklessly taxing the planet’s resources and we will continue to challenge rulings and legislation such as this to seek a more level playing field for plant-based products,” he added.

‘Milk’ is a protected designation for dairy products. However, in this instance High Court Justice Richard Smith found that it was not being used to market or sell an oat drink as milk but rather was “indicative of the appellant’s products more generally as being for those who no longer consume dairy”.

Judge Smith added that the use in this case did not purport to market Oatly goods as any particular product, “let alone milk” and “does not designate those goods as milk”.

“We are disappointed by the judgment which over-turns the conclusion from an earlier IPO hearing which found in Dairy UK’s favour,” said Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK.

“The judgement is complex but at the heart of it is the interpretation of the regulation which protects dairy terms, and whether Oatly’s trademark ‘Post Milk Generation’ is covered by those rules,” said Bryans. “Our view was that it was covered, and this view was previously upheld at an IPO hearing.

“This is a very fresh judgment so we need to dig more deeply into the significance of the ruling before deciding what our next steps will be,” added Bryans.