Ownership of signage above shop front

In Century Star Ltd v Knutsford Enterprises Ltd ([2012] HKEC 932, DC) C owned the external walls of a building. K owned ground floor shops. The question was who owned the signage area above the facades but below the first floor slab. This was a question of the construction of the Deed of Mutual Covenant applying the principles from Investors’ Compensation Scheme and Jumbo King. The court asked itself which interpretation made the best business sense of the words of the DMC. It found that the signage area belonged to the shop owners.

Had that failed, a defence of proprietary estoppel would have succeeded. An adverse possession claim would have failed since there can be no possession of the bare surface of a wall. Defences of estoppel by convention and acquiecence, laches or delay would also have failed.

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2 Responses to “Ownership of signage above shop front”

  1. Jeff Black Says:

    I appreciate that K won. It would be extremely difficult as a shop owner to market your business to onlookers without a decent sign.

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