‘We have never wanted to be an Oatly clone’ British oat milk producer celebrates trademark infringement case win

The Swedish company says it fully accepts the decision by a UK judge who dismissed all Oatly’s claims of trademark infringement.  

Oatly, a pioneer in non-dairy oat milk, took Glebe Farm, a UK business established in oat milling and cereal production for over 30 years and makers of oat milk for nearly three years, to court claiming Glebe’s brand name, PureOaty, and its packaging was too similar to its own.

The court hearing 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 ultimately found that there no likelihood of confusion between the PureOaty name and look of the carton, and any of the Oatly trade marks. Further, the judge ruled against Oatly’s allegation that Glebe Farm intended to gain some unfair advantage, and having reviewed all the evidence and contemporaneous documents he was fully satisfied that there was no intention as attributed by Oatly.  

Glebe Farm said the decision marked a victory for consumer choice amid a growing appetite for milk alternatives and said it has received huge support from around the world including 130,000 signatures on a change.org petition; with many framing the  case as a ‘David and Goliath’ battle. The two oat milk makers have also since become mixed up in a competition over carbon footprint calculations​.

Phillip Rayner, owner and Managing Director of Glebe Farm said: “It is enormously gratifying that the judge has ruled in our favour, and to see that smaller independent companies can fight back and win.

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