May 17, 2022

Vogue Strikes a Pub

Vogue isn’t just a magazine, it’s also a small village located in Cornwall home to a local pub called The Star Inn at Vogue, which received a letter from the famous fashion magazine publisher, Condé Nast. The letter detailed concerns that the name of the pub may cause the general public to infer that the businesses are linked – a fashion Vogue does not wish to be associated with.

The pub landlord, Mark Graham, received the letter after the pub was registered as a business on Companies House, an act which appears to have brought the long established pub to the attention of the publishers. Although Mr Graham found the letter funny to a degree, he deemed it to be unnecessary and “a little heavy-handed”. The publisher requested to know what field of business the pub is in, and if Mr Graham would change the name in order to avoid conflict. In response, Mr Graham explained that the village has been in existence for 200 years, and the pub came not long after with the name of the village in its title. Mr Graham had considered to counter their concerns with a prior use argument to say the pub was there first well before Vogue magazine, and he even considered setting up a local “Vogue Magazine”.

However, he has since had a response from Condé Nast who were grateful for his cooperation and were keen to know more about the pub. The publisher advised that it regularly monitors the use of the name “Vogue” and the letter was sent as a result of the company registration, but admitted that the letter was not required on this occasion and wished the pub a happy summer.

Though the above may seem a funny story it demonstrates the reactive way in which well-known brands can seek to enforce their rights and the potential for bad publicity if they do not do their research prior to doing so.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 291 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Case Law, Companies, Consumer Law, Copyright, Trade Marks

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