Ken Durden /
14 October 2014Trademarks

Chocolatier ‘clears air’ in Lady Godiva tussle

Belgian chocolate maker Godiva Chocolatier has sought to reassure companies using the name ‘Lady Godiva’ following a trademark dispute with an English-themed pub.

As WIPR reported yesterday (October 13), Godiva Chocolatier ordered the Lady Godiva pub in Geneva to stop using the name because it would confuse consumers.

The news provoked concern in some British media that the Belgian company was unfairly targeting a pub in Coventry, where the owner of the targeted bar has another establishment of the same name.

Lady Godiva was an 11th century English noblewoman who, legend suggests, rode naked through the streets of Coventry to persuade her husband to reduce the high taxes he imposed on his subjects.

Now, Godiva Chocolatier has told WIPR that it wants to “clear the air” and assure any establishments in Coventry using the name Lady Godiva that it has never wished to challenge them.

“Where we have taken issue is in a specific situation in Geneva, Switzerland. A business there has chosen to use branding and visual presentation so confusingly similar to that of our own Godiva stores and cafés as to be misleading to customers and damaging to our business,” a statement said.

“We are serious about protecting our brand from businesses that we believe are exploiting our trademarks. Those trademarks relate to the name and imagery where it is relevant to and closely associated with our business.

“When we think that there is a potential for confusion or association, we take reasonable steps to inform people of our intellectual property rights and ask them to respect them. That's what we're doing in this case,” the statement added.

Therefore, the company said, this is a “narrow” dispute where it feels entirely within its rights to take action.

As we reported yesterday, however, the pub’s owner Glen Simons said he was “not going to back down”.

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