Family farmers win court case against oat milk giants

Philip and Rebecca Rayner who run Glebe Farm at King's Ripton, near Huntingdon.

Philip and Rebecca Rayner who run Glebe Farm at King's Ripton, near Huntingdon. - Credit: GLEBE FARM

Glebe Farm, an oak milk producer from King's Ripton, near Huntingdon, has won a legal case brought against it by Oatly following its use of the PUREOATY brand for its gluten-free oat milk.

In today’s (August 5) judgement, the judge rejected Oatly’s claims of trademark infringement, stating that there was "no likelihood of confusion between the PUREOATY sign and carton and any of the Oatly trademarks".

Furthermore, judge, Nicholas Caddick QC, rejected claims that Glebe Farm intended to gain an unfair advantage. Having reviewed all the evidence and documentation, he was fully satisfied that there was no intention as attributed by Oatly.

Rebecca and Philip Rayner are relieved the court case is no longer hanging over them.

Rebecca and Philip Rayner say they are relieved the court case is no longer hanging over them. - Credit: GLEBE FARM

In a statement, Glebe Farm owner and managing director, Phillip Rayner, said: “We have had the threat of this court case – which has pitched our challenger brand against Oatly’s multinational business – looming over us for more than a year.

"We have always felt certain that we have done nothing wrong, and we were determined to fight Oatly’s claims that our brands were similar – something that is now proven to be wrong.

“You only need to look at the two products and packaging side-by-side to appreciate how different these brands are, and how unnecessary this legal action was.

“We greatly appreciate the huge support that PUREOATY and Glebe Farm have received from around the world, including 130,000 signatures on a petition.”

Most Read

Today’s ruling brings an end to a case that started in June with a two-day trial at London High Court, with the threat of liability and damages to the Swedish non-dairy giant hanging over Glebe Farm.

A relieved Mr Rayner, concluded: “All of us at Glebe Farm are excited to put this matter behind us now, so we can focus our time on serving our loyal customers and the British public with pure, sustainable oats and oat milk without corporate lawsuits distracting from our day-to-day priorities.”

 A spokeswoman for Oatly confirmed the company would not be appealing the decision.

"For us, this case has always been about protecting our trademark and how the single letter Y creates too much of a similarity between Oaty and Oatly."

She said Oatly wished Glebe Farm Foods "total success moving forward", but added: "We just think they should do so in their own unique voice, just like we do."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter