A delight of a rage has set over me this morning after reading an article in Timeout. The article outlines the current wrangle between a favourite haunt of ours Dream Bags and Jaguar Shoes, and car manufacturer Jaguar. Who are locked in as dispute over copyright and intellectual property.
DBJS is a boutique bar, exhibition space on Kingsland Road, Shoreditch who have for years now championed art, design, creativity, events and exhibitions. The unusual name of this founding business is comes from the two 1980′s bag and shoe wholesaler signs that hang on the buildings original shop front. The venues hosts Jaguar Shoes an arts organisation born in 2002, which the bars owners have been trying to protect by registering the name as a trademark. The application has resulted in Jaguar contested the filing, saying that this could cause confusion between the two brands.
Nick letchford, (co-owner) said in the Hackney Citizen last Sunday “We just hope that Jaguar will see sense and we can come to an agreement that both sides are comfortable with, and we can both have our brands and co-exist,”. All sounds very sensible and tremendously mature.Two brands doing different things in the world. The final ruling from the patent office comes in on the 6th of June unless they can reach a compromise with the giant car firm. .
What strikes me as ridiculous is Jaguar’s position in all of this. I can understand the imperative to protect their marque. But surely considering any usage of the name confusing is bordering on the ridiculous. I don’t order Tiger in a restaurant and worry that I am getting Kelloggs frosted flakes. Or sit at a bar and not buy a car. Why? Because I’m capable of holding two things in my head at once.
The irony is provided 1 mile down the road where the car giant are seeking to add cool/design/cutting edges to their brand equity with their sponsorship of The Clerkenwell Design week. Hoping to be seen supporting the “60 showrooms and a multitude of architectural and creative practices” in Clerkenwell. A case of the legal team not speaking to the marketing/sponsorship department? Or an example of a cynical brand hoping to milk some cool with one hand, whilst suppressing a boutique arts collective with the other?
A delight to read that “Design has always been at the heart of Jaguar and we are delighted to be the title sponsor of this exciting design event” alongside “A spokesperson for Jaguar said the company did not comment on ongoing legal matters”
When you compare this to the need for Jaguar, ”to reach a new and enlightened customer base that is rightly demanding of the cars it buys.”
It does rather suggest that this new enlightened customer base might just respond to you not being such a dick.