07 September 2017
A current trade mark case involving Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood, illustrates just how important it is to sort out registered trade mark protection when you launch your new brand or business.
Later this month Paul Hollywood is opening a bakery in Euston Station under the name KNEAD. In anticipation of this, last year his investors filed and registered an EUTM for KNEAD covering bakeries and baked goods. They did the right thing.
By contrast, three years ago Croatian-born Anita Janusic set up a baking business called “Knead Bakes” with her partner Christine Faughlin. They had a start-up budget of just £500, but now supply Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Harvey Nichols, as well as coffee shops and restaurants with specialty crumpets.
They now intend to open a bakery in Stoke Newington in north London, but have been forced to halt their plans. When they registered their company name in 2016 they did not trade mark the name “Knead Bakes”. Instead they filed their trade mark earlier this year, but as KNEAD is already now owned by Paul Hollywood, his representatives wrote to them to say that they should stop trying to trade mark the “Knead” name and logo.
Ms Janusic and her partner are clearly devastated by this news as they have worked themselves to the bone and poured a lot of passion, energy and time into growing their Knead business. Ms Janusic has said, “The thought that we’ll have to cease trading as Knead and lose our hard-fought-for identity is very upsetting”.
Janusic and Faughlin cannot open their new bakery until the trade mark issue is resolved. If the name “Knead” goes on packaging or the bakery itself they could be sued for trade mark infringement.
Had Ms Janusic and Ms Faughlin registered their trade mark at the outset of their business in 2014, they would not be in this stressful and upsetting situation now. It just goes to show that applying for a trade mark is an incredibly important step for any new business, or new brand within an existing business.
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