Somerfield and Safeway are in a battle over the the use of the word megadeals to flag up promotions. Somerfield is attempting to trademark the word despite the fact Safeway uses the term in store and has used it on promotional literature. A Somerfield spokesman said: "We decided to apply to trademark Somerfield Megadeals as we were the first to use the word consistently, so customers associate it with Somerfield." But a Safeway spokeswoman said Safeway thought of megadeals first: "We used this phrase first, at least two years ago when Carlos Criado-Perez took over as chief executive. It is very much generic term we use on promotions and in our mega stores where it ties in with the whole mega concept and with other terms we use like mega fresh." Somerfield's application for trademark status for Megadeals is now being considered by the Patent Office. This is denoted by the letters TM which appear after the word on promotional materials. That warns competitors that an application has been made, but they are free to use the word until such time as the trademark is registered. A Patent Office spokeswoman said: "Somerfield's case has been examined. The next step will be to ask it to address any objections or to agree to register the mark. This could go on for a very long time." She said Somerfield would have to prove it had used the term longer than anyone else, and it had not slipped into generic use. A Safeway spokeswoman said: "We think megadeals is too much of a generic term to trademark." {{NEWS }}