Full Press release by the brilliant Julian Hall! (see his details for PR at the bottom www.textualhealing.co.uk)
Comedian rumbles UK clothing giant's blatant copyright and trademark infringements
Major fashion label, French Connection (FCUK), has been found infringing the copyright and trademarks of four well-known companies: GAP, Jack Wills, Lego and Snickers.
This mass infringement - which occurs over the company’s latest t-shirt range - was discovered by comedian and trademark expert Dave Griffiths who has previously fought a legal battle by French Connection after they attempted to shut down a range of his own t-shirts.
Among the infringements is a t-shirt titled ‘CRAP’ in the style of the ‘GAP’ logo; a t-shirt titled ‘Jacks Pills’ in the style of the Jack Wills design; ‘Legover’ in the style of Lego and ‘Knickers’ in the style of Snickers - see http://tinyurl.com/m896c76
Griffiths has alerted lawyers who are looking into the serious infringements, with one GAP / CRAP t-shirt already removed. Lego has responded by saying: ‘This can definitely not be an official LEGO® product since we have strict rules how to protect our name and trademark. Trademarks (LEGO*) can never be joined with other words or used to create a new word. Trademarks are adjectives and must be followed by a noun like LEGO® bricks.'
"French Connection have previously infringed on the logos and trademarks of companies including Pepsi, KFC, Ford, Durex and IBM” says Griffiths, “so they seem to have gone back to their bad old ways of just ripping off other people's work and trademarks just to flog t-shirts.”
“It's amazing that they have the audacity to call Gap ‘Crap’ and then describe what appears to be a blatant breach of trademark as ‘tongue in cheek’, as they have done on their Amazon store [see: http://tinyurl.com/mgdtqcg]. French Connection must be getting desperate for ideas. To be ripping off the Snickers logo is particularly strange as they’ve already had to withdraw t-shirts infringing the Mars logo who are the parent company of Snickers.”
With relevant lawyers alerted, it’s only a matter of time, Griffiths believes, before these infringements become a battleground between the corporates. Griffiths hopes that French Connection’s opportunism will be curtailed:
“For a company so protective of their own FCUK brand (having taken legal action against me for my King Cnut t-shirts) to then copy other brands is incredible. Huge companies can’t keep telling us to do as they say, not as they do, and get away with it.”
Links for t-shirts and company responses:
Links for Amazon screenshots:
Dave Griffiths’ biography:
Dave Griffiths is a comedian. After winning ITV's Take The Mike he gave up the day job as a recruitment consultant to focus on his comedy career. Regular performances at the UK's top comedy clubs followed and between 1998 - 2000 he was part of the award-winning writing team on Channel 4's The 11 O'Clock Show, writing jokes for Sacha Baron Cohen, Ricky Gervais and Mackenzie Crook. In addition to writing and performing, Dave is regularly invited to lecture on trademark law. He is also the proud recipient of a Thames Valley Bravery Award for apprehending a robber who was making off with £22,000. Oh, and he has climbed the Matterhorn. He will be performing his show called C U in Court at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015 and a major documentary called King Cnut is in the making about his 14-year battle with French Connection.
Dave Griffiths’ previous history with French Connection:
When Dave Griffiths saw French Connection’s FCUK t-shirts he started making his own, actual ‘tongue-in-cheek’ range of clothing including a ‘CNUT’ t-shirt. A fourteen-year legal battle with the clothing giant ensued. Griffiths turned the tables on the company by revealing a number of rather more serious copyright and trademark infringements they had made, resulting in the withdrawal of thousands of products – even a range aping one of Griffiths’ own designs.
Some quotes about C U In Court:
“Fcuking Brilliant.” Hal Cruttenden, BBC2’s Mock The Week
"Love your story, and huge congrats my friend." Mark Thomas
“Dave Griffiths dances on the edge of law and fashion and his show, as well as being extremely funny, tells us something very important about corporate power and freedom of expression.” Guy Osborn, Professor of Law, University of Westminster
“There’s lots of things I’d like to say, but I don’t think I should say any of them.” Spokesperson for French Connection (as quoted in The Times)
Dave Griffiths’ website & social media
For photos of Dave Griffiths:
Press contact: Julian Hall at Textual Healing PR
07810 486658 / email@example.com / @TextualHealing2