Scottish knitwear brand ‘McGeorge’ banned from using trademark after Asda complaint

McGeorge argued that extreme differences in price and clientele would make it impossible to confuse the brands.

Steve McQueen wearing a McGeorge of Scotland sweater

Scottish clothing brand McGeorge of Dumfries has been banned from using its trademark following a legal dispute with supermarket giant Asda over the two brands’ similarities. 

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled in favour Asda’s claims that McGeorge could be “free-riding” on George’s established reputation.

The EUIPO found it “highly conceivable” that there could be public confusion between the two brands.

McGeorge’s of Dumfries had strongly contested Asda’s claims due to the stark differences in price, clientele and branding.

McGeorge’s owner, Lorenzo Borre, stated: “The application is a trademark which is synonymous with the McGeorge brand, which has its roots and history in Dumfries. 

“The brand is still sought after and recognised today, with historic products retaining a higher value than the opponent’s.”

According to Borre, McGeorge’s cashmere sweaters sold for more than £100 in high end fashion stores, while George products retail for a considerably lower price.

The cashmere retailer, founded in Dumfries in 1881, has been worn by screen legends Steve McQueen and Grace Kelly.

However, Lawyers for Asda argued: “The mark McGeorge of Dumfries is extremely similar to George which is very well known, by virtue of extensive long-standing, wide-scale use.

“It is clear that the applicant benefits from the from the attractiveness of the George brand, by misappropriating its reputation and goodwill.”

McGeorge of Dumfries hopes to have the ruling overturned on appeal.

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