HC Deb 17 December 1945 vol 417 c904
22. Mr. Wilson Harris

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to advertisements in the Press announcing the flotation of a public limited company under the style of British Universities, Limited; and since this commercial concern has no connection with any British university, what steps he is taking to prevent the assumption by this company of a misleading title for financial gain.

Sir S. Cripps

Yes, Sir. British Universities Press Limited, registered in 1944, is a reconstruction and amalgamation of a group of companies, one of which, a private company of that name, was registered in 1938. I am advised that the powers conferred by the Companies Act, 1929, would not have enabled the Board of Trade or Registrar to prevent the registration of this company by the name in question. The Cohen Committee on Company Law Amendment have, however, made a recommendation on this subject which, when carried into effect, will enable the Department to refuse a name calculated to mislead the public

Mr. Harris

Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman be disposed to give a gratuitous opinion as to whether this is a case in which a "passing off" action would lie?

Sir S. Cripps

No, I would not b prepared to.

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