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Manchester’s popular Sugo Pasta Kitchen has rebranded to Sud Pasta following a trade mark dispute.
A Glaswegian restaurant bearing the same name brought about the trade mark dispute after diners in Glasgow purchased gift vouchers from the Manchester based eatery’s website, not realising they were on the wrong site.
Unfortunately, for the Manchester based eatery it failed to register ‘SUGO’ as a trade mark, leaving the door open for the Glaswegian restaurant to register its logo and the word ‘SUGO’ when it opened four years later, giving it a monopoly on the use of the word ‘SUGO’ in relation to restaurants.
It appears that rather than face proceedings for trade mark infringement and/or passing off that the Manchester restaurant has chosen to rebrand, relaunching as Sud Pasta. Whilst this is a common course of action, what is unusual here, is that the Manchester based eatery opened 4 years before its Glaswegian equivalent, therefore, it was open to Sugo Manchester to apply to invalidate the Glaswegian’s trade mark on the basis that it had earlier unregistered rights in the name.
We will of course never know if such application would have been successful, however, this case clearly demonstrates the importance of registering a business name at the outset to ensure that it cannot be used by anyone else for the same or similar goods or services now or in the future.