Hestons lawyers demand bistro name change
Heston Blumental’s lawyers are once again working to protect The Fat Duck trademark, contacting the operator of a Berkshire bistro that goes by the same name.
According to The Independent, Blumenthal’s lawyers wrote to Jason Annetts, operator of The Fat Duck bistro, which opened in late 2015, “insisting” that he change the business’ name.
“I thought it was a joke at first. This is really way over the top. What threat am I to them? I am really upset,” said Annetts, who offered to change the name to Le Fat Duckling, albeit unsuccessfully.
A spokesperson for Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck said the three Michelin-starred restaurant needs to maintain its unique reputation in the industry.
“We often only become aware of potential issues like this when we are informed by our patrons who query the relationship, as was the case here.
“With a global following and a reputation that we have worked hard to establish, it is important for everyone, but most importantly our guests, that there is no confusion,” the spokesperson said.
This isn’t the first time Blumenthal has taken legal action to protect his business’ name – Australian foodservice operators have also been told to reconsider their branding.
In 2013 The Fat Duck caf in Oakleigh South, Melbourne, received a similar email from Blumenthal’s lawyers, after which the operator, Katie Norris, was told by her own legal representative that the cost of fighting the case would exceed what it could afford. The business’ name was subsequently changed to The Loose Goose.
And in 2011, a Sydney restaurant changed its name from The Fat Duck to The Naked Duck after being contacted by Blumenthal’s legal team.