The IPKat read, with excitement and delight, this little item in today's Telegraph. Fashion house Burberry has taken grave exception to the use of Burberry ferret wear. FerretWorld, reputedly Britain's only ferret accessory shop, is facing the threat of legal action after advertising clothing for ferrets on his website "in the famous Burberry design". The offending ensemble, priced £6.99, consists of a fur-lined cap and cape for "that out of town look".
Simon Bishop, the owner of FerretWorld, received a letter informing him that his internet advert had violated Burberry's intellectual property rights (the check was registered as a UK trade mark in March 2000). The company's lawyers warned of swift action if its name was not dropped from his website immediately. Mr Bishop was required to send Burberry a sample of the material used in the outfits, to identify its manufacturer, to identify the purchasers of the outfits and to promise never again to sell anything even remotely resembling a Burberry accessory. Said Bishop:
"Burberry really ought to get a life. I immediately apologised for using the name on the website and removed it. I explained that I thought the tartan was a generic one like Black Watch, but that wasn't good enough and they are threatening court in seven days if I don't comply with all their demands. As far as I can see, their trade mark refers to jackets and headwear for humans, and dog coats. How a two-inch cap for a ferret fits into that is anyone's guess. They are not getting my customers' details because of the Data Protection Act. As for the material manufacturer, try Birmingham market".Bishop says his check is made up of different colours - cream and purple in place of beige and red.
The IPKat sympathises with Burberry in its perpetual battles against infringers and the permitted uses made of its clothing by chavs. However, he feels that this episode could have been handled more delicately: as things are, consumer perceptions of Burberry's actions may be somewhat negative. Merpel asks, why does Burberry do dog coats but nothing for cats? I think we should be told.
Check out this checked ferret cape