David v Goliath again: Bridgestone trade mark battle against small business

Something that has become more and more noticeable over the last couple of years is the number of big corporations who take aim at small businesses over their brand name.

On the Lawdit reading room, we have reported a number of cases lately in a wide range of industries where a small firm have been pressured to change their name or branding because a big corporation has taken offence to it.

This time, tyre company Bridgestone have challenged Bridgestone Designs in respect of their name choice. Bridgestone Design was set up by Andy Bridgewater who while on furlough decided to set up his own business from his garden shed. This business specialised in flooring and therefore Mr Bridgewater was very surprised to receive a letter from the tyre company.

While the names are similar, the two companies operate in completely different industries and Bridgestone Design is based purely in Herefordshire. Mr Bridgewater had used a combination of his own name and that of his best friend to come up with the name of his business, not trying to copy the tyre company in the slightest.

Bridgestone has sent a 50 page cease and desist letter and is seeking a complete change of name.  With such a new start up, the pressure to change the name may be enough to prevent the company from even being able to get off the ground.

While we will be the first to tell you that if it essential you protect your IP, these big companies seem to take that as having a license to blow everyone else out of the water.

If you would like to discuss anything IP related with our team, feel free to get in touch today.

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