Re: [CR]Re: Claim-to-Hetchins-name controversy.

(Example: Framebuilders:Richard Moon)

Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 22:10:36 +0000
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: Claim-to-Hetchins-name controversy.
From: "Bob Reid" <bob.reid@btconnect.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
In-Reply-To: <B8551887.2E08%hilary.stone@blueyonder.co.uk>


Sadly in the absence of any contribution directly from David Miller or the owning consortium or for that matter Omega Cycles, with the exception of Hilary's contribution this discussion is pure conjecture and only adding to the Hetchin's mythology. Protection of the name in the UK is generally by trademark - nothing else and not copyright. Anyone can come up with an unregistered trademark providing it meets certain criteria, but only serious companies with big budgets and/or intentions apply for them and have them registered officially, gaining far greater protection. The biggest difference is in what redress is available when someone uses your mark, and to quote the UK Trademarks database ;
> If your trade mark is not registered you may seek redress through the courts
> under common law in a passing off action. For this to succeed you must
> persuade the court, first that the mark used by someone else is associated in
> the public mind with your own product or service, and secondly that the other
> person's goods have been mistaken for your own.
>
> However, if your mark is registered you may sue for infringement under trade
> marks law. For this to succeed you have only to show that someone else has
> used a mark which is the same as (or similar to) your own registered mark on
> goods or services which are the same as (or similar to) the goods or services
> for which your mark is registered.
>
> In certain circumstances the deliberate use of your registered mark on goods,
> by another person and without your knowledge, may be classed as
> counterfeiting. This is a criminal offence, and criminal proceedings may be
> initiated under trade marks law by police and Trading Standards Officers.

Unfortunately with the exception of the last paragraph enforcement of your rights to any trademark, registered or not would cost an absolute fortune in both time and money, as does applying for one to be registered in the first place. I cannot believe for one minute that if David Millar produces only 20 frames a year, he would even generate sufficient cash to merit registering the trademark, let alone merit any defence of an alleged infringement of the company's rights beyond a stock threat of legal action on the assumption that they bought the right's to an unregistered trademark - using the original company name ?. Sad but very true, and nowhere on the Trademarks database can I find any record of the Hetchins name being registered buy either of the parties involved.

<Warning ! massive dose of personal opinion coming up >

I am of the camp anyway that believes that once the last vestiges of the original company that produced the Hetchin's (or any other marque for that matter) are gone i.e. the last original owner / partner / framebuilders has died / retired / moved to assembling Taiwanese Coke (tm) Can's then the name no longer carries any weight in the "originality" stakes. They might all be well executed Hetchin's but they are not a real Hetchins by any manner just perhaps "in-the-style-of". Would you honestly buy a Ferrari built in the Skoda factory because they had bought the rights to use the name even if it was a replica Daytona ? (classic content = they didn't use Campagnolo wheels as far as I know)

Time to leave this topic alone again till we hear some proven fact direct from the horses mouth........

best wishes for the season

Bob Reid
Stonehaven (3" more snow fell today)
Scotland.