Harrods in copyright row over cafe’s name

ONE is a roadside caf� in the heart of Essex, the other is one of the world’s most famous department stores.

But it seems that Hollands Caf� Lounge on the A12 has upset the swanky Knightsbridge emporium which has told the family-run business to change its signs.

The Rivenhall business received a letter from the shop’s bosses accusing them of “copyright infringement” of their famous sign.

But the family-run restaurant, which nestles on the side of the busy dual carriageway, is a far cry from the million square foot store in London which was recently bought by the Qatari Royal Family.

Nigel Holland, 40, who runs the caf� with his wife Leyla, 30, said they were facing a “David and Goliath” battle.

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He said: “They wrote to us saying they wanted us to change the name and the logo because it is synonymous with Harrods.

“It is totally ridiculous. We have been going for four months and it has been going very good and we are picking up a nice clientele of regular customers.

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“But now we have the threat of this hanging over us from Harrods and it could have serious financial implications.

“It looks like the Qatari Royal family want to take on the Holland family. We are taking legal advice.” Mr Holland fears a competitor may have “tipped off” Harrods about the sign in order to stop him succeeding.

“There was a guy who came along in an Alfa Romeo and was taking pictures before speeding off – why come all the way from Knightsbridge otherwise?

“We would have to change the logos, menus, signs and the website. It would cost about �14,000 and could put this little business out of business.

“At the end of the day we are a roadside restaurant. How we are associated with a Knightsbridge store is beyond me,” he said.

The Hollands have been told to make changes before the end of this month and expect to hear from the upmarket store by Monday if they have not told them of alterations before then.

Harrods corporate affairs manager Hannah Hodges said: “Examination of the Hollands Cafe Lounge sign will reveal the script is extremely similar to our copyrighted Harrods logo and could, therefore, wrongly suggest some association between our organisations.

“We alerted Hollands to this earlier this month, but are yet to receive a response.

“While we recognise Hollands Cafe Lounge is a very different organisation to Harrods, we feel it is fair and appropriate it should take some steps to remedy this copyright infringement.”

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