/ Glencoe™

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deepsoup - on 05 Aug 2017
What do we think of this then?
https://mobile.twitter.com/hilltrek/status/893803280152895489/photo/1

Apparently the National Trust for Scotland have decided they own the word "Glencoe" and nobody else is allowed to use it. Strikes me as a bit daft to say the least, I hope they'll be winding their necks in sharpish.
Mark Kemball - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

Well, reading the letter, it seems fairly reasonable - they say anyone using the name should have geographical links to Glencoe, thereby protecting local trade etc.
20
Fraser on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:
Completely out of order imo. It'll be interesting to see how this develops. Any idea when the name was trademarked?

Edit: a quick Google seems to suggest there is another owner of the GLENCOE trademark, Glenmuir Limited, based in Dove Road in Bolton. Also relating to class 25, clothing.
Post edited at 21:08
deepsoup - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to Fraser:
> Any idea when the name was trademarked?

Jan 2016 apparently: https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmcase/page/Results/1/UK00003103006

> Edit: a quick Google seems to suggest there is another owner of the GLENCOE trademark...

Also edit: You can search UK trademarks by name here: https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmtext

There are quite a few Glencoes - but the others seem to be companies protecting a product (which is what a trademark is for I believe). Not organisations trying to own the name itself. Be interesting to see what the UKC legal beagles make of this.
Post edited at 21:18
MG - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to Fraser:

2015 according to the government website. Although it also.lists a 1995 registering by a different company. Can any lawyers explain?
marsbar - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to Mark Kemball:

The company have apparently been making a Glencoe jacket for many years before the NTS decided to trademark a place name.

In other news Stilton can't be made in Stilton.

Personally I think NTS are drunk and should go home.
Frank the Husky - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

I would copy Ian Hyslop's classic response to James Arkell's solicitors in 1971:

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2013/08/arkell-v-pressdram.html
Mark Kemball - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to marsbar:

In the light of that info, I have to change my opinion - NTS are entirely unreasonable!
Lusk - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

I'm Glencoe.
pebbles - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

Ha, golden opportunity for stroppy climbing folk to call their new borns Glencoe...reckon it would make quite a good name
Big Ger - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Lusk:

and so's my wife...
jonnie3430 - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> The company have apparently been making a Glencoe jacket for many years before the NTS decided to trademark a place name.

30 years, apparently.

I could understand a bit more if they wanted a bit of cash to support the national trust, or Glencoe, but to not want any, just stop someone who has been naming a bit of kit for 30 years seems silly.

And to have spent some of the money I donate on that, I find wasteful. (how many people's life membership fees would it have taken to pay the lawyers for that letter?)
summo on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Mark Kemball:

> Well, reading the letter, it seems fairly reasonable - they say anyone using the name should have geographical links to Glencoe, thereby protecting local trade etc.

What geographical links do the makers of 'mars bars' have? ME have jackets named after hills in the greater ranges etc...

This is just typical of big charities operating like big business, using money from donations to pay for lawyers. It is not as if NT are making jackets in Glencoe and are affected.
keith-ratcliffe on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to pebbles:
A quick check reveals that the names Lord & Lady of Glencoe have already been trademarked so you can't do that. 45 TMs that include the name Glencoe BTW.
toad - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

Someone on twitter has pointed out Love productions might be interested in an NTS "Bake Off" event
elsewhere on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:
Sure enough a quick Google shows there are Glencoe boots, rucksacks and gaiters too.

The boots are by Nike but I don't suppose the NTS will sue.
Offwidth - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Frank the Husky:

A true dog of letters ;-)
summo on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

I feel the need to enquire if these goods are actually made at bannockburn.
http://www.nts.org.uk/Shop/284/
Rob Naylor - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

I guess that if Hilltrek have been making a "Glencoe" jacket for 30 years, then NTS' registration of the name "Glencoe" for clothing is invalid due to "prior use".

I know of at least 3 people who have told NTS that they will not be renewing membership over this, so I reckon it's bitten them firmly in the arse.
Pursued by a bear - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Fine letter worthy of wider attention; but since at the time Ian Hislop was aged 10, I suspect the credit lies elsewhere.

T.
toad - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Peter Cook, shurely?
toad - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup: story was on radio 4 this morning, but didn't really add anything new. Had the two parties on, but nobody really pushed the nts

Postmanpat on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to toad:

> story was on radio 4 this morning, but didn't really add anything new. Had the two parties on, but nobody really pushed the NTS

My understanding from this was not that the NTS wants to make vast amounts of money by trademarking the name "Glencoe" but it wants to stop third parties doing so at the expense of everybody else.

Hilltrek has not nor ever attempted to trademark the name. They just use it.

The NTS has acknowledged that their letter was very unjustifiably heavy handed and both parties have agreed to talk. It doesn't seem to be beyond the bounds of possibility that they could reach some sort of agreement to formalise the status quo.
gavmac on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

> The NTS has acknowledged that their letter was very unjustifiably heavy handed and both parties have agreed to talk. It doesn't seem to be beyond the bounds of possibility that they could reach some sort of agreement to formalise the status quo.

NTS acknowledged it was unjustified and heavy handed ONLY because of the bad publicity they were receiving. Bloody bullies who only backed down because they were getting hit in the pocket.
Bellie on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

I suppose the question to be asked is what is remarkable about Glencoe, that the name needs protecting. I'm asking as I don't actually know if there is anything.

I can see the argument against utilising a name, where it is synonymous with a product. Sheffield for example in respect of cutlery and knives. This is protected quite vigourously. I could also imagine a lot of fuss if a company elsewhere in the country made gingerbread and called it Grasmere. But just to protect a name seems overprotective. Especially as the product in question is not being marketed as being from Glencoe, and as mentioned upthread, names of places and ranges are the norm in outdoor gear.
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Pursued by a bear - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to toad:

I'd imagine so.

T.
Postmanpat on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Bellie:

> I suppose the question to be asked is what is remarkable about Glencoe, that the name needs protecting. I'm asking as I don't actually know if there is anything.

>
Well, nothing I can think of, but let's reframe the question. How would people feel if Sports Direct or Nike were marketing a Glencoe jacket and obtained the trademark thus making it impossible for anyone, possibly including the NTS, to market things under that name?
1
Bellie on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

I suspect that, just like the NTS they would have difficulty in making it stick.

Cadbury's purple anyone?

MG - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Postmanpat:

The whole idea of trademarking place names seems absurd to me. Many businesses use them just as a marker. If I trademark say Coventry, can I then sue businesses such as Coventry Plumbing Services and endless others?
Postmanpat on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:
> The whole idea of trademarking place names seems absurd to me.
>
Same here!

Although I can see why things like foodstuffs that are closely tied to their orginal places of origin should get some protection.
Post edited at 11:04
Bellie on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to MG:

There are plenty of restrictions on TMs, so no. But if you were a bloke called Harris and made tweed in Coventry, and called yourselves Harris Tweed manufacturers, then I think you would be on dodgy ground. Hence my mention above about context, with regard to Glencoe and its synonymity with any particular product. I'm not sure there is any premium for a business outside of that area to label itself e.g.: Glencoe maintenance services.

If there was a particular style of jacket specific to Glencoe - called the Glencoe Jacket then we might look at it differently, but there isn't as far as I know.


DerwentDiluted - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

I have put my plans to open the 'Glencoe Jimmy Saville Experience theme park on ice' on ice, pending further developments.
1
Fraser on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to DerwentDiluted:

Careful now, that'd be the start of a slippery slope.
graeme jackson - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

if this action sticks, the ordnance survey will soon have to rename sheet 384.
RomTheBear on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

> What do we think of this then?


> Apparently the National Trust for Scotland have decided they own the word "Glencoe" and nobody else is allowed to use it. Strikes me as a bit daft to say the least, I hope they'll be winding their necks in sharpish.

What's daft is that you can somehow trademark a place name. That's just stupid.
Mr Lopez - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

> You can search UK trademarks by name here: https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmtext

Who is in for a whip-round so we can trademark "National Trust for Scotland(™)"?
Howard J - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:
The NTS seems to have trademarked it for every possible thing they can think of, apart from those categories which were already registered. Only a few of these have anything to do with its charitable purposes, and the only purpose can be to safeguard its commercial interests. It seems unnecessarily wide - I wonder when we can expect to see "Industrial oils and greases; Lubricants; Dust absorbing, wetting, and binding compositions" which are among the categories they have claimed rights over.

NTS says it was forced into registering trademarks after a third party registered the name "St Kilda", which it owns, but of course they don't own all of Glencoe, in particular they don't own the village so this sound like a sham. They claim to be protecting local businesses, but it is reported that the local community actually raised concerns when NTS applied to register the name but appear to have been ignored.

The NTS appears to be abusing its position as a large and wealthy organisation and risks been seen as heavy-handed as its English equivalent.
Post edited at 14:22
Ramblin dave - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

> What's daft is that you can somehow trademark a place name. That's just stupid.

Well, you can't trademark a place name in general, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to want to protect the use of a place name to identify your product (within a certain scope) so that customers know what they're getting when they see the name. I don't really see how it's different from trademarking a fruit, a colour, an animal, a surname or anything else.

Marks lapse if they aren't actively used, though, so I suspect NTS are wasting time and money with their absurdly broad pre-emptive registrations, though.
Ramblin dave - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Howard J:

> NTS says it was forced into registering trademarks after a third party registered the name "St Kilda", which it owns, but of course they don't own all of Glencoe, in particular they don't own the village so this sound like a sham. They claim to be protecting local businesses, but it is reported that the local community actually raised concerns when NTS applied to register the name but appear to have been ignored.

Who owns the land is largely irrelevant - Rab don't own Latok, Mountain Hardwear don't own Changabang and TNF don't own Nuptse, but they're all within their rights to register the trademarks to protect the effort that they put in to building up a strong brand with a good reputation around jackets with those names.
Shapeshifter - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:
I'm no expert, but I've had a bit to do with patents and trademarks at work and from what I can tell NTS shouldn't have been allowed to trademark the name Glencoe anyway. Hence easy to challenge the letter

The two links below seem to say you could only trademark the word Glencoe if accompanied by another product word like Iceaxes or Wooly Hats, which the area was synonymous with (e.g like Cheddar Cheese) - and there isn't one. And you certainly couldn't trademark 'Glencoe' alone, as it would stop other businesses like Glencoe Plumbing from using it.

http://blogs.lexisnexis.co.uk/wipit/trade-mark-registration-canary-warfare-in-the-high-court/

http://www.trademarkroom.com/blog/item/can-a-geographical-name-be-used-as-a-trademark

Anyway, sorry if that's a bit dull but long story short, Hilltrek should tell NTS to swivel on it!!
Post edited at 15:03
RomTheBear on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Well, you can't trademark a place name in general, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to want to protect the use of a place name to identify your product (within a certain scope) so that customers know what they're getting when they see the name.

This is about protecting the origin of a product. I have no problem with that, for example Scotch whisky must be from Scotland, Champagne from champagne... etc etc

However this is not the case here.

marsbar - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

Well, I have had a reply to my message to NTS suggesting they get on with their job of protecting heritage and stop bullying Scottish small businesses such as Hilltrek. It's a standard reply and has been posted elsewhere on T'internet so I see no harm in sharing it here.

"Thank you for your comments. The letter sent to Hilltrek by our lawyers was a standard one, but it is clear in retrospect that it was too harsh and heavy-handed in tone given the circumstances of the company. Our only desire is to protect the properties in our care and stop them being exploited in ways which do not accord with our charitable purposes. Our letter to Hilltrek was intended to open up negotiation to establish if the company had legal prior trading rights and clearly the wording and tone did not convey this. We are making contact with the company with the aim of entering into a dialogue with them and finding a mutually agreeable solution."

Hilltrek have a Facebook page should anyone wish to follow further developments.
davidbeynon on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> Who is in for a whip-round so we can trademark "National Trust for Scotland(™)"?

You aren't thinking big enough. Trademark "Scotland".
summo on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

The NT in Wales are pursuing all rights of photographic images on their land according to another article doing the rounds.
summo on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to marsbar:

I've yet to have a reply if all their shop goods are produced in the places they imply, or even in Scotland. I think this one letter of theirs is likely to cost them dearly in lost memberships.
Ian W - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to marsbar:

> Well, I have had a reply to my message to NTS suggesting they get on with their job of protecting heritage and stop bullying Scottish small businesses such as Hilltrek. It's a standard reply and has been posted elsewhere on T'internet so I see no harm in sharing it here.

> "Thank you for your comments. The letter sent to Hilltrek by our lawyers was a standard one, but it is clear in retrospect that it was too harsh and heavy-handed in tone given the circumstances of the company. Our only desire is to protect the properties in our care and stop them being exploited in ways which do not accord with our charitable purposes. Our letter to Hilltrek was intended to open up negotiation to establish if the company had legal prior trading rights and clearly the wording and tone did not convey this. We are making contact with the company with the aim of entering into a dialogue with them and finding a mutually agreeable solution."

Surely (statement of the bleedin' obvious here) if you want to enter into negotiations / discussions, you use phrases like "we would like to discuss with you the use of the word Glencoe with respect to your products" rather than the more aggressive stance taken by NTS insisting that Hillbeck stop selling such products immediately.

Also, do NTS really think anyone believes their assertion that it is only in retrospect that it appears too harsh? Idiotic, embarrasing corporate speak. I'm just waiting for the clssic "customer service is paramount"......

> Hilltrek have a Facebook page should anyone wish to follow further developments.

colinakmc - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:
Whole issue is ridiculous. I'll be raising with them, why they are frittering some of my subscriptions on fanciful legal actions designed to enrich lawyers.
Howard J - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

If NTS were protecting an established brand that would be fair enough. What they've done is slapped a blanket ban on the use of the word "Glencoe" on pretty much everything you can think of. That means even businesses run by the people of Glencoe village can't use it by right - NTS say they won't enforce it against local businesses but that's a privilege not a right.

I have some sympathy with what NTS are trying to do, but a such a blanket approach is heavy handed and will build up resentment. They should turn a blind eye unless the name is used in a way which is detrimental to the heritage.
elsewhere on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:
Just to make it clear - Iceland is winning the Iceland vs Iceland trademark battle.
Ian W - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

Thanks for that; I was wondering.....
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coinneach - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to elsewhere:

> Just to make it clear - Iceland is winning the Iceland vs Iceland trademark battle.

Yes, but which Iceland ?
Ramblin dave - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Howard J:

Oh, I don't think they're doing the Right Thing - it seems bizarre, to be honest, not to mention the fact that unless they actually do start producing Glencoe branded lubricant and so on then the trademarks will be able to be challenged due to lack of use in a few years anyway. The point was just that if someone does want to trademark Glencoe as a brand name for their motor oil it doesn't really matter whether they own, live in, or even have visited the actual place.
marsbar - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Ian W:

It's nonsense, I can hear the back-pedalling from here (several hundred miles South of Scotland)

At least it shows people can make a difference against this.
marsbar - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I agree. They aren't doing the right thing, they are doing the corporate thing.

Following on from Scouts with Bear Grylls Craghoppers and Bear Grylls knives, rumour has it we now have NTS and Regatta outdoor wear. I doubt that Regatta will be manufacturing jackets in Glencoe, but I suspect that is the background to this.

Ian W - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to marsbar:

One of the strangest things is that its not exactly the first time an organisation has shot itself in the foot in a similar fashion; why organisations dont learn, i will never know.

Someone in NTS thought this was a good idea; fair enough, we've all had these ideas that arent all they are cracked up to be.
However, nobody else in NTS thought to say "Oi, do you really think this is so great? Should we not just sit down and think of the possible consequences? Look what happened to......etc etc)
elsewhere on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to coinneach:

> Yes, but which Iceland ?

Obviously Iceland™ is winning ;-)

The UK food retailer's trademark for Iceland™ messes things up for UK marketing of food from the country.

It's dumb, but Glencoe™ is no less valid than Iceland™

NB Glencoe™ only remains valid if used so the NTS has to produce or licence products. Do they plan to offer non-exclusive licences for nominal sum?

Big Ger - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Bellie:

> I can see the argument against utilising a name, where it is synonymous with a product. Sheffield for example in respect of cutlery and knives.

Interestingly, out here, all bedding and linen is known as "Manchester."

https://www.manchestermadness.com.au/
knthrak1982 on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Ian W:

> Also, do NTS really think anyone believes their assertion that it is only in retrospect that it appears too harsh? Idiotic, embarrasing corporate speak.

Yep. It's the same BS that Brewdog came out with when they were called out for bullying small businesses, also blaming the lawyers as though they act without instruction.

Ramblin dave - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to RomTheBear:

> This is about protecting the origin of a product. I have no problem with that, for example Scotch whisky must be from Scotland, Champagne from champagne... etc etc

> However this is not the case here.

Protecting the origin of a product is one thing, but it's nothing to do with trademarks. You absolutely couldn't trademark "Scotch whisky" because it's a generic term for a style of whisky produced by a number of different firms in a specific place, so the protection would either have to be via Protected Origin status or something similar (if you want to establish it as a style having certain qualities as well as geographic origin) or just trades descriptions (if it's just about where it's produced).

A trademark basically protects the time and effort that a company puts into building up a recognised and respected brand around a distinctive word, phrase or logo used in relation to a specific class of product. It seems reasonable that under some circumstances the trademark could be a placename, regardless of whether or not the product has any links with that place. Halifax seems like a reasonable example of this. Glencoe, as registered by the NTS, obviously isn't.

What seems really bizarre, though, is the NTS's idea that because they own (some of) the land that a place name is associated with, they also naturally ought to have the right to get to decide who can use that place name commercially, regardless of what they're doing with it themselves.
Lusk - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> A trademark basically protects the time and effort that a company puts into building up a recognised and respected brand around a distinctive word, phrase or logo used in relation to a specific class of product. It seems reasonable that under some circumstances the trademark could be a placename, regardless of whether or not the product has any links with that place.

Reading that, it should be Hilltrek trademarking Glencoe, considering how many years they've been making those jackets!
Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:

But "The Halifax" is "The Halifax Building Society". If the NT were talking about "The Glencoe National Trust Collective of Old Farts", or some such, I'm sure no one would object.
Ramblin dave - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Lusk:
> Reading that, it should be Hilltrek trademarking Glencoe, considering how many years they've been making those jackets!

Well, yeah! At least, I'd have a lot more sympathy for that than for the NTS apparently wanting to police who gets to use the word (to describe a product at all, not just as a trademark) by staking a largely spurious claim to it.

Although I _think_ that the criteria for being allowed to trademark a geographical location is roughly that the average punter will associate the word with your business first and with the location second, or at least that you've got good enough lawyers to convince the IPO that this is the case. (I think is probably how Halifax got theirs.)
Post edited at 13:54
pebbles - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to Mark Kemball:
> they say anyone using the name should have geographical links to Glencoe, thereby protecting local trade etc.

well that should put the fear of god up Patagonia and Avon Cosmetics....
Post edited at 15:11

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