The recent debacle about patent names took a weird twist in the UK the other day when a Pub, The Star Inn at Vogue in Cornwall was being sued by Vogue Magazine for using its name. Mark and Rachel graham landlords of the 200 year old Inn received a decease and desist order from Condé Nast the owners of Vogue Magazine. I am not sure about the patent law in the UK (other than that it is far more effective than in Spain. I should know having been stitched up with my European patent of Funky Tapas) but I would think that using an actual place name in your logo/address could not breach patent law especially when it was there a long time before Vogue Magazine and I’m not sure that you can patent/copyright a place name.

But it does remind me that when I first came over to Spain, I was looking to take over a Bar Restaurant in Fuengirola called Harrods. Now, Harrods was using the logo, the colours and the style but in a million years nobody would have confused a middle of the road pub on the Costa del Sol with a multi million pound Knightsbridge mega store! However the wonderful late, lamented owner, Peter Reid entered into a court case with the mighty owners (pre- Al Fayed) and sadly lost despite the fact that ‘reportedly’ he had registered the name in Spain. Rumour has it that he capitulated very early on — wise move! It was eventually taken over and changed its name to Harpers.


I am sure that Mark and Rachel’s response would have been to once again use part of Vogue’s logo to express their decision!   ‘V’ !

They have since a framed reply from Condé Nast apologising for their ludicrous attempt. The pub’s packed and no one came off badly!!