Oatly loses court case against Glebe Farm following infringement claims

Author: Molly Pickering

Read Time:   |  5th August 2021

Oat milk giant Oatly has lost its court case battle against Glebe Farm following Oatly's claims of trademark infringement in the 'Oatly vs Glebe Farm' battle.

Oatly has lost its infringement battle against British oat milk producer Glebe Farm.

Today, a judge dismissed all of Oatly’s infringement claims against the small business’ PureOaty product.

Glebe Farm received masses of support following Oatly’s initial claims.

Glebe Farm Owner Phillip Rayner shared: “It is enormously gratifying that the judge has ruled in our favour, and to see that smaller independent companies can fight back and win.”

Oatly vs. Glebe Farm

Last month, Oatly launched a High Court Injunction against the UK-based oat brand Glebe Farm.

Oatly claimed the packaging and the name on Glebe Farm’s ‘PureOaty’ oat milk product was too similar to Oatly’s plant-based milk carton.

Additionally, the oat milk giant claimed the ‘similar’ name and packaging would cause confusion to buyers and accused Glebe Farm of intending to gain an unfair advantage.

Following the initial hearing in June, Glebe Farm received global support for its PureOaty product, with many comparing the event as a David and Goliath battle.

In addition, a petition was launched demanding that Oatly renege its injunction on Glebe Farms immediately, igniting a #freePureOaty campaign.

The petition received over 130,000 signatures in support of Glebe Farm.

Oatly continued to defend its actions, claiming it’s ‘nothing personal’.

“It was time to stand up to this behaviour”

Following Glebe Farms victory, Phillip Rayner made a statement to Vegan Food & Living, explaining: “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.”

Rayner shared how grateful Glebe Farm was for the tremendous support for people all over the world.

He added: “Oatly has claimed that this legal action is just standard business practice.

“However, it was very clear to us that this was not the case. We decided it was time to stand up to this behaviour, and that in our view ‘corporate might does not make right’.”

Ultimately the judge found that there is no likelihood of confusion between the PureOaty name and look of the carton and any of the Oatly trademarks.

Further, the judge ruled against Oatly’s allegation that Glebe Farm intended to gain some unfair advantage.

Having reviewed all the evidence and contemporaneous documents he was fully satisfied that there was no intention as attributed by Oatly.

Rayner shared: “There is room in a growing category for alternatives.

“We’d like to think growth opportunities come from positivity in broadening sector choice, rather than from trying to shut things down and limiting consumer options.”

“We want you to be able to form your own opinion about the case.”

Since the final hearing, Oatly has made a statement on its website.

In the statement, Oatly shared: “The court ruled in favour of Glebe Farm, the judge recognized Oatly’s strong brand and uniqueness but felt the similarities weren’t enough to rule in our favour.

“We’ve collected the main documents of the case for you to read as it was presented to the court. The reason is because we believe in transparency and we want you to be able to form your own opinion about the case.”

The documents added include Oatlys judgement, Statements and Orders and each side’s argument.

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Written by

Molly Pickering

Molly Pickering

When she's not reporting the latest vegan news, Molly's other passions are tattoos, 80’s horror and good vegan food

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