Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Tea and (lack of) sympathy

I thought one of the buzz words for brands these days was "generosity" - customers owning the brand, letting go of the reins a bit, that sort of thing.

But it seems that the overly possessive anal-retentive intellectual property junkies are also alive and kicking. I read in The Times today that the mighty Teekanne brand has been threatening to come down heavily on a little Richmond tea shop - The Tea Box - on the grounds of possible logo confusion. Now, have a look to the right and you'll see the two logos. Could they be easily confused? After all, they do both feature a teapot. On the other hand, Hakle toilet paper and Pedigree dogfood have a picture of a dog on the pack and I don't think too many people have been confused there (or at least, I hope not...)

Now, I expect there is more than a degree of the tiresome tendency of British journalists to extend WW2 into the 21st Century and beyond here - after all, if there's no football on or if no German politicians have made any comments on how dodgy the pound is recently, why not go for a storm in a teacup story?

But, at the end of it, hasn't Teekanne got better things to spend its time and talents on? This story has certainly left a bad taste in my mouth as far as Teekanne tea goes.

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