Scot tells Dolce & Gabanna to ‘Get Stuffed’
It’s hard to describe the ‘warm and cosy’ feeling I get whenever some overpriced purveyor of cheap tat such as Dolce & Gabanna gets a bloody nose for trying to bully someone into submission.
There’s the last one I noticed:
If I had a better memory, I’d probably be able to point at more.
In the days when I had to have a mobile phone, after the company concerned delivered a snazzy up-market camera phone (metal-cased instead of the cheap plastic version) as an apology for failing to deliver the ordered item for weeks, I had to get rid of it after seeing that the company offered the same phone tarted up by D&G. It looked something street-tramp would have used, with the D&G log splashed on the outside, and on the screen, together with rows of tiny (ie cheap) Swarovski crystals along all the edges.
ONE is a small firm in Fife targeting a modest expansion across the central belt of Scotland, the other is a global fashion powerhouse worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
But after a David and Goliath legal battle, a Dunfermline-based mechanics company is celebrating victory over fashion powerhouse, Dolce & Gabbana.
The bizarre dispute centred around the use of the initials, D&G, as made famous by the internationally renowned Italian brand.
D&G Autocare, which has nine branches around Fife, Perth, Stirling and Livingston, tried to have the name registered as a trademark in order to prevent rival mechanics from cashing in on its success.
The garage owners, David Hunter and George Simpson, had no reason to believe their application to the UK Intellectual Property Office would be refused.
But they were shocked to discover Dolce & Gabbana lodged a “notice of threatened opposition” to their trademark in December. The company’s trademark agents claimed that the application conflicted with their own trademark, and would lead to confusion among consumers.
In correspondence sent to the small Dunfermline business, which employs 45 workers, the agents urged the garage owners to withdraw their application.
“We had invested in our business, in our people and expanded based on a strong policy of customer care,” explained Mr Simpson, 42.
“It was a very strongly worded letter and I think it would have scared a lot of people off, But it left a very sour taste in our mouths and we decided to fight their objection.”
The garage enlisted the services of Dunfermline-based solicitor Neil Killick from Young & Partners.
Ultimately, D&G Autocare was officially granted its trademark, and Mr Simpson praised the way his solicitors had acted on his company’s behalf.
True to form for a bully, Dolce & Gabbana reportedly ran away, and declined to comment when asked for a statement about the case.
(And if the big bully’s legal team is eyeing up the graphic at top right, then they should be aware that I have not offended their copyright on their logo, as it is made from standard fonts available in Windows, using a free graphic editor.)