Oatly loses trademark infringement case against small British producer Glebe Farm

Oat milk giant Oatly has lost its trademark infringement case against British small producer Glebe Farm and its brand PureOaty. “We stand up for what we believe in,” said Glebe Farm managing director Phillip Rayner after the David and Goliath clash.

Oatly oat milk

Oat milk giant Oatly (Image: PA Images)

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“We have had the threat of this court case – which has pitched our challenger brand against Oatly’s multinational business – looming over us for more than a year. We have always felt certain that we have done nothing wrong, and we were determined to fight Oatly’s claims that our brands were similar – something that is now proven to be wrong.

“You only need to look at the two products and packaging side by side to appreciate how different these brands are. Corporate might does not make it right.”

Rayner paid tribute to the huge support that PureOaty and Glebe Farm received from around the world including 130,000 signatures on a change.org petition.

“The facts are that we have never wanted to be an Oatly clone,” Rayner added. “We are pleased to have our trademark position vindicated by the judge.”

The court hearing in June examined wide ranging aspects of alleged relevant intellectual property including choice of language and typefaces, the use of the colour blue and the detail of a coffee cup appearing on the PureOaty pack. 

The judge found that there is no likelihood of confusion between the PUREOATY name and look of the carton, and any of the Oatly trade marks.  

Rayner added: “There is room in a growing category for alternatives. We’d like to think growth opportunities come from positivity in broadening sector choice. All of us at Glebe Farm are excited to put this matter behind us now so we can focus our time on serving our loyal customers and the British public with pure, sustainable oats and oat milk without corporate lawsuits distracting from our day-to-day priorities.”

Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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