Outsourcing firm ends two-year legal battle over trademark breach

Vipul Sheth

Coventry-based AdvanceTrack, a company offering outsourced accounting and audit services, has secured a settlement after a two-year legal battle.

The court declared that competitor GI Outsourcing had unlawfully used AdvanceTrack’s brand in a targeted Google Adwords campaign, resulting in a trademark breach.

GI Outsourcing said the breach was by a third-party marketing agency which caused an “accidental trademark infringement contained within Google adverts published in early 2021”.

AdvanceTrack will be receiving a £50,000 settlement from GI Outsourcing as compensation for the trademark infringement, which will be donated to charity. The settlement was originally offered in January but was only recently accepted, and AdvanceTrack is liable for GI Outsourcing’s legal fees and Court costs accrued since the settlement offer.

Following the conclusion of the case at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, His Honour Judge James Tindal ruled that GI Outsourcing not only infringed AdvanceTrack’s UK trademark but also engaged in passing off its accounting services as, or connected with, AdvanceTrack.

The settlement also included an undertaking by GI Outsourcing not to infringe AdvanceTrack’s trademark and to confirm it had deleted all infringing material.

Vipul Sheth, founder and managing director of AdvanceTrack, said: “We’re pleased that following a long legal battle, justice has been served, and liability finally confirmed by the judge.

“Simply put, the accounting industry deserves better than to have industry participants infringing the rights of their competitors. We’ve been working hard to raise standards but when organisations act like this, they are damaging those efforts.

“So, we are delighted to have succeeded in obtaining these public findings of infringement, to have obtained injunctive relief to prevent it from happening in the future, and to have received a public apology and the sum of £50,000 from GI Outsourcing.”

In a statement, GI Outsourcing said: “The matter stemmed from an error by a third-party marketing agency, which the Court has acknowledged was accidental and caused no commercial gain to GI Outsourcing and no substantial loss to AdvanceTrack.

“GI Outsourcing acted quickly to remove the adverts at the time. We went to great lengths to resolve the matter appropriately, offering the other party a settlement in August 2022 and again in January of this year. The January settlement offer has only now been accepted. Having run the case through to trial, AdvanceTrack ultimately had to accept that our offer was more generous than the result they would have obtained in court. “