Simon Cowell takes on firm over Little Mix charms

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Scotland’s SGI has trademark application opposed by mogul’s lawyers.

Scottish jewellery and gifts company SGI found itself up against Simon Cowell’s lawyers after applying to use the name Little Mix for a range of charm jewellery.

The Little Mix name matches that of the girl group that won the 2011 series of the X Factor, overseen by Cowell and his company Syco.

SGI owner Sharon Gallacher said the charms were in no way related to the pop group, and that she had initially applied to register the Little Mix name for a new range of jewellery in the summer of 2011, before the band’s success. In reaction, the Syco label launched legal action to oppose the trademark application.

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According to The Scotsman, court papers suggested that SGI was trying to cash in on the fame of the band, and claimed it had only decided to launch the range after the group appeared on the ITV reality show.

The UK Intellectual Property Office ruled in Cowell’s favour, meaning SGI cannot use the name. The Airdrie-based company has also been ordered to pay Cowell’s company £2,200 in legal fees run up over the course of the action.

Gallacher said: “We are just gutted by this decision, absolutely gutted. We thought we had a really good chance of winning this case. I have no interest in Little Mix or anything about them; I wasn’t trying to make money out of them."

Gallacher gave evidence in court for an hour and a half and said she felt she had enough of a case, despite going head to head "with the might of Simon Cowell". SGI said the name Little Mix was chosen for a new charm collection because the charms were little and a mixture of different designs.

Trademark hearing officer Mark Bryant wrote in a judgement: “The impression created is that the applicant did not choose the mark in early summer of 2011 but much closer to the filing date and in response to the band Little Mix achieving success on television programme the X Factor.

“This was done with the aim of making financial gain from the success of the opponent. Having concluded this, I must ask whether the filing of the application amounts to an act of bad faith.

“At the time the application was filed, the applicant was aware of the band Little Mix and its efforts to illustrate that it had, in fact, come up with the name the year before are not credible in light of the flaws in the evidence. Having regard for all of this, I conclude that the application was made in bad faith.”
 

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