Trade mark round-up: 2016 brand battles
2016 has been a year of bigger and better brands which means bigger and more complex brand battles.
Below are some of the most well known brand clashes of this year.
Instagram v Littergram
The photo sharing giant, owned by Facebook, came up against a litter app namesake this year. Instagram set above preventing Littergram, an app owned by Danny Lucas which aimed to ease the public when making reports of litter to their local council, from using the name which suggested a link between the two. This battle had a happy ending however, as Instagram dropped their case against the app following a plea to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the two businesses have been running side by side happily ever since.
Elvis Presley v BrewDog
The family of Elvis Presley, the Presley estate, took action this year against beer brewer based in Scotland, BrewDog, over the name of their new beer, Elvis Juice IPA. Their demand was for the beer to be rebranded. In response to this action, BrewDog’s founders, James Watt and Martin Dickie, made a bit of a joke of the situation and changed their names by deed poll to Elvis, allowing them to argue that they named the beer after themselves. Following this, the dispute died.
Iceland v Iceland
This is the most recent of these battles and one that has caused some frosty relationships. Iceland, the country has issued a claim that Iceland, the frozen food supermarket, claiming that the use of the name Iceland is preventing Icelandic countries from promoting themselves abroad. The country have disregarded the fact that the supermarket owns a European trade mark for the word ‘Iceland’ and has done for many years unchallenged. As this is a recent case, with the action brought only last week following a large number of threats, we are yet to see the outcome. It is clear though how much of an interesting battle will pursue into the New Year. Watch this space!
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By Ellis Sweetenham