Court of Session rules on Oban firms seafood 'stooshie'
An Argyll seafood firm has won a legal ruling against a local rival over who can trade from green-painted premises.
John Ogden and Marion Ritchie said their green shack on Oban Pier lost business after being confused with Gordon MacGillivray's green mobile van.
A judge has now granted an interim interdict preventing Mr MacGillivray from running a nearby firm from "wholly or predominantly green" premises.
Lord Pentland said it was open for Mr MacGillivray to contest the decision.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard that the shellfish business run by Mr Ogden and Ms Ritchie had been mentioned by "a considerable number of contributors" to the Trip Advisor site as being a green shack or hut or something of that nature.
An entry in the Lonely Planet guide had also described it as "the green shack on the quayside".
The court heard that Mr MacGillivray had traded for some years, but from a white kiosk.
Recently his business has been run from a new green-coloured catering outlet.
Paul O'Brien, counsel for Mr Ogden and Ms Ritchie, told the Court of Session in Edinburgh: "Ultimately what the pursuer is seeking is for the defender to repaint.
"The pursuer is suffering a loss of trade from the confusion generated by the presence of the defender's other green outlet.
"It is in a position on that pier where potential customers will reach it first. Although it is not strictly a hut, it certainly is a small portable retail outlet."
The judge ruled that Mr Ogden and Ms Ritchie had succeeded is showing that they had a case, at first view, based on passing off in the intellectual property action.
Lord Pentland granted the partners in Girl Norma Shellfish, an interim interdict against Mr MacGillivray, of MacGillivray's Seafood.
Under the terms of the order he is prevented from passing off any bar or restaurant on or within 250 metres of the railway pier in the town as being theirs.
It particularly prohibits Mr MacGillivray from carrying on such a business from a kiosk, hut, shack or similar structure that is "wholly or predominantly green".
The judge said a number of specific instances had been given in which confusion has arisen because of the presence of two green seafood facilities on the pier.
Lord Pentland said a prima facie case was made out by the shellfish business that they have suffered and are likely to continue to suffer financial loss due to the confusion.
The judge said he did not think it would be right to dismiss "any such diversion of trade" as minimal.