That awkward moment when your celebrity client tweets his horror at the copyright infringement letter you sent on his behalf

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By Alex Aldridge on

London IP law firm Carpmaels & Ransford maintains dignified silence after TV adventurer Bear Grylls lifts legal threat against start-up knife company ‘Bear Blades’


A social media furore has erupted after a small company called ‘Bear Blades’ tweeted its disappointment about being asked to rebrand because of the similarity of its name with that of the top adventurer Bear Grylls.

In a letter sent to the Dorset-based start-up by London IP firm Carpmaels & Ransford on behalf of Bear Grylls Ventures, concern is expressed about an application lodged by Bear Blades to register its logo: “Bear Blades. Steel. Strength. Utility”. The logo, says the Holborn-based firm, is “very similar” to its client’s “Bear” mark and covers “identical and similar goods, namely knives and sheaths for knives”.

The letter continues:

“We act on behalf of Bear Grylls Ventures LLP, which is the merchandising company associated with the world renowned adventurer, writer and television presenter Bear Grylls.

“Our client is very concerned about your application to register the Bear Blades Steel. Strength. Utility, and logo mark, the dominant and distinctive element of which is the word ‘bear’.

“Our client also objects to the use of this mark, which would create a likelihood of confusion among consumers, who would be likely to assume that ‘Bear Blades’ products derive from our client.”

As a storm of outrage began to swirl about the missive, a #DoTheRightThing hashtag was spawned to help persuade Bear Grylls (and the rest of the team at Bear Grylls Ventures) to back off.

Confronted with these powerful images, and an intervention by 1 Gray’s Inn Square barrister Barbara Hewson, Grylls pledged to act.

Having expressed his ignorance at the actions of Carpmaels & Ransford…

…Grylls then delighted Twitter by lifting the legal threat.

And everyone was very happy indeed.

Apart from, presumably, the poor old lawyers — who were, after all, just responding to instructions from Bear Grylls Ventures. But sadly we may never know their true feelings on the matter, as, perhaps wisely, the Carpmaels & Ransford Twitter account has stayed out of it, and when contacted by Legal Cheek this morning no one at the firm was available to comment.