Don’t make a Pyg’s Ear Out Of It – The Importance of Standing Up for Your Established Business and Brand

Written by Mark Eiffe | November 30, 2023

Intellectual Property

A legal dispute is unfolding between two seemingly similar restaurant brands — ‘Little Pig’ and ‘Little Pyg’.

The owner of Little Pig, Michael Martin, has taken the matter to court, seeking an injunction to prevent Little Pyg from using a brand which, he claims, is causing confusion among the restaurant frequenting citizenry of Dublin, resulting in significant losses for Little Pig.

Mr Martin wishes to put an end to the alleged brand confusion. Martin contends that patrons are unknowingly choosing Little Pyg over Little Pig, leading to missed reservations and financial setbacks for his establishment.

Lawyers for Little Pig told Judge John O’Connor that Mr Martin had diligently monitored the situation and identified 35 instances where customers, believing they were entering Little Pig, unintentionally ended up at Little Pyg. To address this, Little Pig is seeking legal remedies to halt Little Pyg’s use of the confusingly similar name and logo.

These legal remedies include an injunction compelling Little Pyg to cease trading under that name, removing all related signage, images, and social media content, and restraining the use of the name, which allegedly infringes on Little Pig’s registered trademark.

This dispute intensified in November 2021 when Little Pyg changed its logo to one which it is claimed by Mr Martin closely resembles that of Little Pig and opened another establishment called Little Pyg Terrace. Mr Martin’s legal team argues that the similarities even extend to menu design and even the design and appearance of the chairs used in both establishments.

Allegations of trademark infringement and passing off have been raised against Little Pyg claiming that the establishments were intentionally designed to mislead customers into associating them with the successful Little Pig brand.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the case highlights the critical importance for businesses to secure specialist trademark advice to protect their brand identity and prevent losses of both goodwill in your brand and revenue due to confusion in the marketplace.

If you require any advice to either prevent a dispute arising or to deal with a case of a competitor taking advantage of your established name, brand and goodwill, get in touch with Briffa where our specialist intellectual property lawyers in Ireland and in the UK will be happy to assist.

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