The latest high profile trade mark dispute has temperatures rising in the baking world.
Keen bakers all over the country will be familiar with one of the stars of the hit TV show The Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood. Mr Hollywood is due to open his own bakery in Euston station, North London, later this month under the name Knead, selling a variety of sweet and savoury goods.
Crumpet-maker Anita Janusic has her own business, also operating under the name Knead. Knead’s homemade crumpets, which include flavours such as lemon and poppy and cinnamon and raisin, have proved to be so popular that they are retailed in major department stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.
Although operating under the Knead name since 2014, Ms Janusic did not seek any trade mark protection. She eventually filed a UK trade mark application earlier this year but was left disheartened when her application was opposed by Paul Hollywood’s financial backer, multinational food group SSP, who already obtained an EU-wide trade mark registration (covering the UK and all other EU countries) for this mark in 2016. If the opposition is successful, this will block Ms Janusic from obtaining any trade mark protection for her Knead brand name for food and drink related goods and services in the UK.
While there are cost pressures on any business, this dispute highlights the importance of seeking trade mark protection at an early stage. Often, considerable effort and expense is involved in selecting a name and developing a brand, and seeking trade mark protection for core names/logos as trade is a comparatively small additional investment that is well worth making. It adds value to the business, offers scope for licencing/franchising and gives rights to prevent other companies using or registering the same or a confusingly similar mark without permission.
Contact our Trade Marks team today for further advice.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.