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Row over Ivy name costs Scottish restaurant £30,000

THEY are 400 miles apart and a world away from one another in style, but a Scottish restaurant says it was forced to pay £30,000 to change its name after the famous London eaterie The Ivy threatened to sue over trademark infringement.

The owners of Glasgow's Ivy bar and restaurant on Argyle Street estimate they suffered around £20,000 of lost business in the run-up to Christmas after lawyers acting for the London venue banned them from advertising.

They had to spend a further £10,000 on a new website, signage and other rebranding paraphernalia after receiving a legal letter last summer that threatened to sue the Glasgow restaurant unless it dropped the Ivy tag, despite it having already been in business for six years. It has now changed its name to Destill.

Manager Ryan Smith, 28, said the suggestion that customers might confuse the two restaurants was laughable.

He said: "Quite honestly, I can't remember a single person who has come in for a meal and said 'oh no, we thought this was the Ivy in the West End of London'. Their lawyers contacted us in the summer basically telling in no uncertain terms that we had to change our name or we would be in all sorts of trouble."

Owners Jo Mathery and Tom Booth took over Ivy more than five years ago and built it up the business.

However, Mr Smith said the potential of losing a legal battle against a restaurant legend visisted by everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Tom Cruise was too much of a risk.

Mr Smith added: "We're a small company and we don't have a lot of money to spend on legal fees.

"We just had to bow down to the money machine in London."

A spokesman for the Ivy in London declined to comment.

Contextual targeting label: 
Food and drink

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