Celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale may be forced to change the name of her Covent Garden cupcake bakery following a trademark dispute with Ella’s
Pascale, who trained as a chef after a successful modelling career, had her application to register the name ‘Ella’s Bakehouse’ refused by the Intellectual Property Office following a challenge by organic baby food brand Ella’s Kitchen, which has registered the trademark ‘Ella’s Organic’.
Representatives for Pascale, who named the bakery after her daughter Ella, argued that Ella was a common female forename, and that the logo of Ella’s Bakehouse, a cake with a cherry on top, was “extremely distinctive”.
But Ella’s Kitchen, which is named after the daughter of its founder Paul Lindley, argued that consumers were likely to confuse the two brands.
The IPO sided with Ella’s Kitchen, and refused the application by Pascale’s bakery under class 30, which covers food. The application was allowed in two other categories, which cover utensils and clothing.
“It is difficult to see how confusion could not arise. There is no doubt that there is a likelihood of confusion,” registrar David Landau said.
The IPO also ordered Lorraine Pascale to pay £2,000 towards Ella’s Kitchen’s costs.
“Without commenting directly on this case; we feel very strongly that any business that has invested in building its brand, including years of investment and hard work, and with the protection of a registered trademark, should be able to protect that asset through conversation, negotiation, arbitration in the first place, and as a last resort through legal defence,” said Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley.
Nick Bolter, a partner in the intellectual property group at Edwards Wildman, said that the most likely outcome would be for Lorraine Pascale to stop using the name Ella’s Bakehouse.
“It is unusual for somebody who has had a decision against them by the UK IPO to continue to use the mark because the infringement risk is very significant,” he said.
A court would be likely to side with Ella’s Kitchen if it felt forced to sue Lorraine Pascale as the legal considerations in an infringement case were the same as in a registration case, Bolter added.
Ella’s Bakehouse is reported to sell its £2.50 cupcakes to Guy Ritchie and Marco Pierre White from its store in Covent Garden’s Piazza. Pascale’s first book, Baking Made Easy, was the 41st bestselling book of last year.
Pascale’s representatives were unavailable for comment.