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A Case Study - The Gamrie Goat

Company: The Gamrie Goat, which produces and sells hand made goat’s milk soaps

Trade Mark Issue

Founder of The Gamrie Goat, Christine Ralph, found another company using the US version of her internet domain name and so applied to register her trade mark through Trade Mark Direct.  Once the trade mark was pending she contacted the US company and reclaimed her internet domain name.

Background

Christine Ralph is the entrepreneur behind The Gamrie Goat, which produces ethical soaps made from goat’s milk.  Christine makes the soap from milk from the goats living on her family croft in Gamrie, Aberdeenshire.

Christine wasn’t concerned about her business’ identity as she never thought for one moment that someone would want to copy her small, uniquely named business.

In 2008 Christine found another goat’s milk soap company had been using photos from her website, she complained to the web hosting company who took the rather drastic measure of taking down her competitor’s website.  This competitor then registered a domain name virtually identical to Christine’s – a typo squat.  Alarmed by this discovery Christine did an internet search and found yet another company using the domain name TheGamrieGoat.com to sell goats’ milk products.  Christine had only registered www.thegamriegoat.co.uk, again never considering that anyone would want to copy The Gamrie Goat.

The domain name had been registered just after The Gamrie Goat had received some good publicity in the newspapers and she realised with a start that she didn’t have a registered trade mark.

The Solution

Some brief internet searching later and she discovered Trade Mark Direct, whose unique search technology meant she could begin her trade mark search that evening. 

Her application underway, Christine contacted the American company using the site name TheGamrieGoat.com informing them that she had a trade mark pending; they handed over the domain name free of charge.  Christine is certain that having a trade mark pending greatly strengthened her case.

Christine said: “Registering your trade mark is essential.  No matter how small your business is or how secure you think you are, you need a trade mark, I would urge any small business to register one.”

For more information on how to apply for a trade mark go to www.trademarkdirect.co.uk

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