Wednesday, November 3, 2010

US giant tries to squash small business.

GLOBAL drinks giant Coca-Cola is threatening to take a small restaurant to court over the printing on its sign.

The firm claims the Relentless Steak & Lobster House has breached the trademark on one of its energy drinks.
It sent a 17-page legal document to owner Scott Matthews demanding the sign be changed because it resembles the logo on its own Relentless energy drink cans.
Fighting back ... Scott outside restaurant and energy drink
Fighting back ... Scott outside restaurant and energy drink
Scott, from Portsmouth, Hants, is outraged by the decision.
The 24-year-old said: "We're definitely going to fight and we'll have to use the takings from the restaurant to do so.
"Originally we were going to spend the money doing the restaurant up but now we'll spend it having a go back at them.
"It's unbelievable they've gone for something like this."
He said the sign is written in "Old English" font, which he chose on his computer.
And he added the name has nothing to do with the drink.
Scott said: "My father's first fishing boat was called Relentless.
"It's not because of an energy drink. If I was going to do that, I'd have called it Red Bull."
Scott only opened the restaurant in Portsmouth in March.
He estimates the cost to fight the soft drinks company in the courts would be around £4,500 — compared to a mere £700 to replace the sign.
But he said: "It's pure principle. I just can't believe one of the world's biggest companies is trying to take on a very small restaurant."

He has until November 9 to agree to take down his sign and redesign the logo.
In a statement Coca-Cola said: "We have contacted the Relentless Steak & Lobster House and requested they redesign their current logo.
"We believe it bears a strong resemblance to our Relentless energy drink design and that this may lead to consumers thinking the two are connected."
Mike Dyer, head of the commercial team at law firm Verisona, in Portsmouth, said firms like Coca-Cola take these issues seriously.
He said: "They have whole departments that exist to enforce these rights all over the world."

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