You may have seen on our social media recently that we’ve been embroiled in a legal battle with watchmakers Tissot over the letter ‘T’.
If you haven’t yet heard the saga, here’s a summary:
With the help of Chris Hoole of Appleyard Lees, an IP lawyer, we attempted to register our logo as a trademark but were met with objections from Tissot Watches. Tissot claimed that Toolally was trying to capitalise on the goodwill of the Tissot brand.
Toolally handmakes design-led, acrylic jewellery – mostly earrings. Tissot makes watches. There is no similarity between us other than use of the letter ‘T’. In fact, in response to Tissot’s immediate initial objection to the Toolally T, watches were voluntarily excluded from our registration application in an attempt to clearly demonstrate to Tissot that Toolally had no desire or indeed need to link itself with the Swiss watch brand.
Over the course of 18 months, Tissot, with the support of its parent, the Swatch Group, used its multinational resources to prevent Toolally from registering its ‘T’ logo as a trade mark and protect its brand. The fight went all the way to a hearing at the UK’s Intellectual Property Office.
In true David and Goliath style, we were victorious with the Intellectual Property Office ruling in our favour.
Sadly, Tissot and the Swatch Group refuse to accept the decision and have appealed. They continue to try to claim ownership of the letter ‘T’, a claim which may surprise a number of other brands whose name begins with ‘T’.
They are using their wealth and power to try and bully us into submission and with their permanently retained team of lawyers we imagine they are used to winning. With the support of Chris Hoole from Appleyard Lees in Leeds, we are returning to fight again. This is their last chance and ours.
We continue to grow – flying high entirely on the merits of our designs – but we would say that. Fingers crossed, as we await the final decision and hope that sometimes, the little guys do win.
Team Toolally x