A bit of fun and rivalry, or a threat to your business?

A shop owner from Tyneside has renamed his local convenience store Morrisinghs, after being legally threatened with court action by Sainsbury’s, for his former signage: Singhsbury’s.

Whilst Morrisons do not mind the highly similar ‘Morrisinghs’ currently in place on the store, Sainsbury’s took action on the basis of infringement and wrote to the proprietor of the shop asking him to remove the sign.

Morrisons have put the similar name down to a bit of fun and rivalry, and the owner of Morrisinghs, Jel Singh Nagra also reportedly refers to the similar branding as banter. There are a number of different options for dealing with matters such as this depending on which is the most appropriate and beneficial to your business.

However, infringement is no laughing matter and can seriously damage the reputation of a brand. Customers can come to associate the two brands with one another, causing confusion of the two undertakings, and potentially sending their custom elsewhere! Therefore it is important to take action against third parties infringing your mark, or passing your mark off as their own.

As a trade mark owner, you may have rights open to you whether or not you hold a registration. If you notice that someone is infringing your mark, please contact us to discuss your rights and potential first courses of action.

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