One or more people operating a business calling itself "Spud to Go" and located at the Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire (on the outskirts of London) have been placed on notice, as has the management of the shopping centre, that a jacket potato shop/restaurant located in the food court run by Eden Shopping Centre is violating the Common Law intellectual properties and the UK registered trademark of SpudsToGo Limited and is effectively 'passing off' on the company's well-established brand.
According to the Eden Shopping Centre website the owner of Eden Shopping Centre is Savills plc.
The SpudsToGo brand was created by the SpudsToGo Corporation and originated in the United States of America in December 2005. A US trademark was registered (Serial No. 78783388) shortly thereafter. The business relocated to the UK in February 2008, when a franchising model was established by SpudsToGo (UK) Limited (Company number 06502606). Subsequent to that SpudsToGo began opening stores in the UK through a subsidiary company, SpudsToGo Limited based in England (Company number 08591637). In time, the US trademark was allowed to lapse in August 2013, with a focus on UK and EU operations and a European registered trademark was obtained, in January 2008 (Trademark number 006486534), owned by SpudsToGo Limited in England. At a later date, the various intellectual properties of the SpudsToGo brand were assigned and transferred to the CPM Partnership, which then licensed various companies to use the brand. In January 2020 CPM Partnership relocated its operations to Scotland and SpudsToGo Limited, incorporated in Scotland (Company number SC652012) and continued to establish all intellectual properties associated with the SpudsToGo brand, including the UK registered trademark (Trade mark number UK00003462022).
Bill White, a director of SpudsToGo Limited and owner of the parent company said: "I was surprised yesterday to learn that this rogue trader was operating out of a shopping centre that is for all intents and purposes is owned by Savills plc."
"It's common practice for reputable companies to perform "Know Your Customer" checks and even a cursory inspection of the Internet would have identified that this rogue trader was using our brand name, which is an obvious attempt at passing off," White explained.
"Eden Shopping Centre has been benefiting financially from our brand in the form of rents paid and depending on whether they charge based on turnover as many food courts do, the company may also have received income based on the actual sales of products that clearly violate both our common law rights and those established through registration," White continued.
"Of course, the operators of this rogue business have been earning revenue and benefiting from our brand and this will not be allowed to continue," confirmed White.
The domain name used by the operators of the rogue business was registered in June 2019 but it is not clear when they began trading from the Eden Shopping Centre.
Both the rogue business operator and Eden Shopping Centre were contacted by email but no response was received before publication.
SpudsToGo Limited is owned by Mayside Partners Limited. For more information about SpudsToGo go to https://spudstogo.com.