Trademarking your own name

AC Lyle - The inventor of Ginger Beer
AC Lyle – The inventor of Ginger Beer

Back in 1884 my great, great, great Granny, Elizabeth Lyle  started a soft drinks firm in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. It grew and grew and survived two world wars, but sadly didn’t survive the death of my Grandfather Edgar Lyle in 1964, when the business was sold to Hooper Struve, which was in turn later bought by R Whites. His own father Alexander Lyle who died in 1953  was credited on his death with being the man who invented Ginger Beer.

I still have all the paperwork relating to this and all the others recipes that were left to me by my own Granny Jean Lyle and I promised my own father Anthony, I would bring it back to the market when I had the required experience and funds to do so. I started this process in the summer this year.

But today, this has been blocked by a rather superior trademark firm from London Venner Shipley who have contested my trademark application for the name ‘Lyles’ in the area of class 32, which loosely relates to soft drinks.

The fact that our name is a family name and the business started before their own clients’ is irrelevant. because they own a trademark and have employed expensive but illiterate lawyers (who like to use tautological expressions to sign off letters). Yes, yes, I will withdraw my application immediately, asap and promptly Messrs Venner and Shipley.

Venner Shipley

I think that’s quite sad. I also think it is truly awful that they have been allowed to send such an appallingly written letter to let me know.

For the record, the Trade Mark Office staff have been fabulous and were genuinely trying to find a way to help me get around their lawyers, but if I can’t work with my own name, what’s the point in putting my heart and soul in trying to rebuild an amazing family business and who can really afford to take these firms on?