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Singhsbury's vs Sainsbury's - the battle of the burys

View profile for Thomas Emmett
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It seems that a day doesn’t go by without another report relating to the subject appearing in the news and this week is no different, with major newspapers and other media outlets reporting that a large superstore threatened legal action against a business using a name that is similar to its own.

Mr Nagera owns a shop in North Tyneside which was previously named Singhsbury’s. In 2012, Sainsbury’s, one of the big four supermarkets, accused Mr Nagera of copyright infringement. Mr Nagera swiftly took the sign with the business name down due to the threat of legal action. Since then, the shop has had no name. That is until very recently, when Mr Nagera made the news again because of the shop’s new name, Morissinghs. Despite the threat from Sainsbury’s relating to copyright infringement, it seems that Mr Nagera has not been deterred from using a name that is similar to another one of the big four retailers.

Mr Nagera, will perhaps be relieved that Morrisons does not mind the shop’s new name. Morrisons is reported to have said that clearly Mr Nagera’s customers have good taste and that the supermarket chain wishes him well. 

This is not the first time that copyright infringement claims have been threatened against businesses in the retail and hospitality industries. In 2008, an Indian restaurant agreed to change its name from Easycurry, after the Easy Group threatened High Court action. In 2010, a store previously owned by Woolworths was re-opened with the name Wellworths. It was forced to change its name due to the similarity of the names. 

These stories demonstrate the importance of brand names to businesses. They can have significant value, and businesses that have spent a lot of time building up their brand often take exception to those who try to benefit from their work by naming their businesses with a similar name. 

If you require any assistance with a trade mark infringement claim, or if you require advice in relation to defending a trade mark dispute, please do not hesitate to contact me for a free 15 minute, no obligation chat. I am based at our Basildon and Chelmsford office and can be reached on 01245 453847 or email thomas.emmett@birkettlong.co.uk

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