Jun 24, 2015

Great North Run Quick Out of the Blocks to Protect Trademark

The organisers of the Great North Run have admitted being "a little over the top" in a trademark dispute involving a small charity race staged in the small Welsh village of Monmouthshire. In a move that was roundly seen as being over zealous, lawyers acting for The Great Run Company (Nova as it was then known) forced the organisers of The Great 'Narth' Run, which attracts only a few dozen participants, to drop the word "Great" for Sunday's event.

The Great Run Company has confirmed that both parties have had an amicable chat and resolved their differences.

Background

Mr Coppell, organiser of the Wlesh event said: "When you live in a village called The Narth there really is only one thing to call your race, so slightly mischievously, tongue-in-cheek, as a bit of fun, we put the word 'Great' in front of our run and ran it quite happily for a couple of years.

"After last year's run we got a solicitor's letter on behalf of Nova [since renamed The Great Run Company]...pointing out we'd inadvertently been infringing their trademark.

"They had actually trademarked the word 'Great' in connection with place names and sporting events."

The Great Run Company's David Hart said: "I must admit I hadn't heard of the Narth Run until a few days ago, but they did receive a letter from our solicitors.

"As a brand that's built up over the last 30 years or so we have to try to protect our identity, but I did feel sending the solicitor's letter was a little bit over the top for a little village event.

"When I heard about it I got in contact with the organisers and had a very amicable chat and we made a donation to them and are going to give them a couple of free entries to next year's event."

Posted by: in: Companies, News, Trade Marks

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