Paul Hollywood, from The Great British Bake Off, has joined with major food group SSP, to open a bakery called Knead in Euston station later this month. It will sell the usual station fare of bread rolls, sandwiches, sausage rolls, pies and pastries.

Since 2014, Anita Janusic has been making crumpets and selling them under the name Knead to stores such as Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.  She intends to open a store in north London, but has had to shelve her plans following an opposition from SSP to her trade mark application for KNEAD earlier this year.  SSP had obtained an EU trade mark for KNEAD in 2016 covering identical goods and services.

If SSP’s opposition is successful – which it may not be in view of Ms Janusic’s earlier use - Ms Janusic will not be able to continue her business under the name KNEAD in the UK, nor expand to any other EU state.  Much will depend on the evidence of use that Ms Janusic will be able to provide regarding her use of KNEAD prior to 2016. 

This dispute highlights the importance of seeking trade mark protection early in your business life.  Fighting this opposition is a cost that Ms Janusic could have avoided if she had obtained a trade mark registration for KNEAD when she first set up her business.  

The time and cost involved in choosing a name and logo, as well as obtaining trade mark registration for them is an investment well worth making, as it gives the mark owner the right to prevent others from using the same or similar name, as well as the potential to franchise or license use of the name to third parties.

It will be interesting to see how this David and Goliath battle will pan out.

Our advice is to file for your core brand names and logos as soon as possible. If you would like further information about this, or for any other trade mark advice, please contact one of our trade mark attorneys, Claire Freeman, Lynn Harris and Alison Simons.