Adam Handling Restaurant Group, which owns the one Michelin Star restaurant Frog, has successfully forced a restaurant in Yorkshire to change its name over alleged copyright infringement.
In July, The Frog Bakery in Camberwell, London was issued a cease and desist by the Adam Handling Restaurant Group over Handling’s trademarking of ‘THE FROG’, and now another eatery has received a legal challenge over its amphibian-inspired name.
In an Instagram post, the team behind Frog in Harrogate announced that they would be renaming the restaurant to ‘Lilypad’, but that the change “cuts deep”: “…we in part chose the name ‘FROG’ as a callback to Charlie’s family history in ‘The Frog & Forget-me-not’ in London…Anyone who knows us, knows that we always strive to remain fiercely independent and as such the idea of our name being approved by an outside party wasn’t something we were willing to entertain. Please know this was not an easy decision, as it means we lose a name that has been part of our DNA for generations and had a deep affection from all of us working here.”
The second restaurant from Handling’s Frog brand was opened in Covent Garden in 2017, having launched the (now closed) original the year before. Handling was a finalist on Masterchef: The Professionals in 2013. Frog (now Lilypad) in Harrogate opened earlier this year and serves Latin American and Asian-inspired small plates and cocktails.
According to Eater, Handling’s trademark of ‘THE FROG’ (in capital letters) was registered in March 2017. WLC reached out to Adam Handling Restaurant Group and received the following reply: “The Adam Handling Restaurant Group has been in touch with Frog Harrogate because its choice of name conflicts with our earlier rights and has caused confusion amongst many of our diners and within the hospitality industry, as they thought that we had opened a new restaurant in Harrogate. The directors of Frog Harrogate have responded and we anticipate resolving matters amicably soon.
Our FROG name is very valuable and important to us, to our existing restaurant group and to our expansion plans. We have no choice but to protect it from both deliberate and accidental conflicts.
If you don’t protect and enforce your trademark against these types of conflicts, you become exposed and could lose your rights.
We appreciate that these conflicts can be accidental but, in this instance, Frog Harrogate have advised that they were actually aware of our name. We urge new business owners to conduct the relevant due diligence through the IPO website as unfortunate situations like this can become costly for both parties.”