Next vs Next

Next PLC force independent retailer to change her business name of 24 years.

It is a common misconception that trading under a brand name for a good number of years will automatically grant you brand protection.

Last week, VOCM reported a story about a local business owner that was being forced to re-brand her business after her social media accounts and website were shut down following an infringement complaint. Her business name was Next Clothing Company, the trademark claim has been brought against her by Next Plc.

Shop owner, Gail Decker, has owned her Next Clothing Company shop in St John’s, Canada for 24 years. But the fact that her business was well established and traded in a different country to UK based retail giant Next Plc, did not offer her the protection or rights she needed to defend her brand name.

Decker say’s that she reached out to a trademark lawyer, but after further research she realised that the David and Goliath battle would be a difficult one to win. Next Plc has over 500 stores worldwide and 44,000 employees.

For now, Decker has no other choice but to rebrand the business as ‘Gail’s Clothing Company’, along with all of the time-consuming processes and administration that involves.

For further information on protecting your trademark, contact our team today. 

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