Conde Nast Threatens Pub In The UK For Existing In Town Called Vogue

from the nast-y dept

Conde Nast has shown itself to be heavy-handed in the past when it comes to IP laws. And like any other large publisher, Conde Nast makes a habit of policing its IP, including its trademarks. But when you do that policing, you really do have to commit to at least having the bare minimum of common sense, or else you look really, really foolish.

You know, like when Conde Nast sent a threat letter to The Star Inn at Vogue, a pub in the UK in a small village called Vogue, all because Conde Nast also operates a little magazine you may have heard of called Vogue.

The Star Inn at Vogue, thought to be at least 150 years old, is in the small village of Vogue, near Redruth. Vogue magazine publisher Condé Nast told the pub its name might “cause problems”.

The letter demanded to know the nature of the pub’s business (really?) and whether the pub would be open to changing the name it’s had for 150 years. Mark Graham, of the pub, has basically laughed all this off. In fact, he responded to Conde Nast with a letter of his own.

Mark Graham, who has been landlord with his wife Rachel for 17 years, wrote back, saying: “Whilst I found your letter interesting on the one hand, I also found it hilariously funny on the other.”

“I explained to them that the village has been here for 200 years, the pub slightly less than that. We chose the name of the pub to be the name of the village.”

He said he was had considered countering their claim over the use of the word because “we were there first”.

Now, to its credit, Conde Nast has since responded to Graham indicating that it was “grateful” for his reply, happy to learn more about the Inn and the surrounding “part of the country” (mmkay), and that after “further research” that Conde Nast probably never should have sent the threat letter to begin with.

And that’s really the problem here. Conde Nast is free to police its trademarks all it wants, but it should probably be done with at least a modicum of professionalism. Maybe the 10 minutes worth of research it would take to know not to send the threats could have been performed before the threats were sent, rather than afterwards.

But, hey, I guess it’s easier to just shoot first and ask questions later.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: conde nast, star inn at vogue

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Conde Nast Threatens Pub In The UK For Existing In Town Called Vogue”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anathema Device (profile) says:

Isn’t this kind of thing more or less done automatically? Trademark lawyers have staff who spend all their time looking for terms on the internet which might be infringing and who then shoot off a pro forma letter to possible infringers?

It works on the same principle as spam. Most of this stuff is shit, but every so often they strike gold. And the client pays for all of it, win, lose or fuck all.

It’s a living, but not one I would wish to pursue.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lawyers need to justify their salary, vogue have a fashion magazine, and maybe sell merch, they do not sell beer or food. This reminds me of the time mcdonalds took a small Irish fast food company to court , supermacs, the result is mcdonalds lost the trademark to big mac burgers in Europe. Trademark bullying does not always work.

Arijirija says:

reminiscent of "Formerly the Blackball Hilton"

This sort of dimwittedness happens all the time. In the 1980s it was the turn of the Blackball Hilton in New Zealand; Blackball was a mining town on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand,,_New_Zealand
and the hotel was renamed after the mine manager, a Mr Hilton (he must’ve put money into it, or something of the sort.). And of course, the international Hilton hotel chain got all steamed up and frothy-at-the-mouth over it, and threatened the hotel owners with various things.

So it is now Formerly the Blackball Hilton; I’ve visited it and it’s a pleasant little hotel, and serves some nice West Coast brews. If you’re ever over that way, drop in and enjoy what an international hotel chain blew its top over. (Disclaimer: I have no stake in Formerly the Blackball Hilton; I used to have a friend who was born and had lived in Blackball, where his family still live.)

Naughty Autie says:


Why the sarc mark? The absence of such a story just proves what a trademark bully Condé Nast is, going after small businesses whose names would be in different trademark classes from classes 9, 16, and 41 (in the UK), but leaving alone big names whose trademarks (if any) are also registered, and whose holders therefore know are just as strong as those held by Condé Nast.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...