When I still lived at home, I often got into trouble for “borrowing” my mum’s clothes. 


I once walked into the kitchen to ask my mother if I could borrow her belt.


“which belt” she asked, confused


“this belt” I answers, proudly showing the one I’d already put on, together with the matching shoes and jacket, knowing how difficult it would be for her to make me take it off, especially as I was already half way out of the door.


This was only surpassed by the time that I was caught trying on my father’s dinner jacket.  To be fair, I think the principal objection was that I looked better in it than he did, but that’s not my fault.


Of course, I assumed that my time would come, but actually the reverse is true.   As I have sons, and not daughters, both of whom are now bigger than me (it’s not hard) they have no interest in borrowing my stuff (thank goodness!) but when they grow out of things, I sometimes get to acquire them.  Having bought my eldest a very expensive hoodie from Super Dry a couple of years ago, I was delighted to find it had been added to the charity box as it doesn’t fit him, so I am now the proud owner (and current wearer) of a very nice warm new jumper!  My youngest was not so happy as he’d had his eye on it, but I got there first!


So what have you “appropriate” recently that perhaps you shouldn’t have done but you’re hoping to get away with? 


Most commonly I’m asked about things like “borrowing” pictures from websites to reproduce them (probably breach of copyright but may depend on the website’s ts and cs). 


Sometimes I get asked about “being influenced by” other people’s names/logos/colour schemes.  If your designs are too close to that of a rival, you could find yourself facing a passing off claim and/or a breach of copyright claim.  Make sure what you’re doing is sufficient different and can easily be distinguished. 


Or what about “piggy backing”, when you try to connect yourself to someone else’s great idea or event.  For example, for those of you who are well versed in big property matters, you’ll no doubt have heard of MIPIM, which I’m told is a five day extravaganza in Cannes in mid March every year, loosely held together with some networking.  Officially, MIPIM is a conference in Cannes, which you have to buy a ticket to, and unless you buy a ticket, you can’t say you’re going to MIPIM (because you’re not).  In reality, I understand that there is as much drinking (I mean networking and business development) going on outside the event as inside, and that people often go to Cannes but don’t buy a ticket, and still refer to themselves as going to MIPIM, even when they’re not.  It would be a bit like going to Florida, and saying you’re going to Disney, but actually never setting foot inside the magic Kingdom. 


Like most valuable brands, MIPIM protect their image carefully and with good reason.  So, if you get caught saying you’re going to MIPIM when you haven’t bought a ticket, be prepared for a complaint.


Of course, if you’re going to be in Cannes between 11th and 15th March, and you fancy meeting me for a coffee and a chat (or glass of wine if you insist) then although I’m not going to MIPIM, I’d still love to see you!


Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  Going to Cannes this March!!!!