U.K. Chancery Court Holds That, Under European Union Intellectual Property Law, Financial Services Company “OCH Capital” Infringed the Trademarks of European Hedge Fund Manager Och-Ziff Capital Management

On October 20, 2010, a Judge of the United Kingdom High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, ruled that OCH Capital, LLP infringed two trademarks, “OCH-ZIFF” and “OCH” registered by hedge fund Och-Ziff Management Europe, Ltd. and its manager, OZ Management LP (collectively Och-Ziff or Claimants), and that OCH Capital committed “passing off,” the European equivalent of “unfair competition.”  Specifically, it found that, by using the sign “OCH Capital,” and derivations thereof, in the course of its trade in the financial services industry, OCH Capital created confusion in the marketplace with the Och-Ziff trademarks, and caused damage to, and took unfair advantage of, the Och-Ziff Group’s established reputation in the same industry.  The Court also held OCH Capital, its founder, Thomas Tadeus Antoni Ochocki, and its management firm, Union Investment Management Ltd. jointly liable.  We detail the background of the action and the Court’s legal analysis.

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