A Cardiff pie shop has been forced to rebrand following a trademark dispute with another pie business, owned by members of the same family.
Previously, the two pie shops, both known as Clark’s Pies – on Bromsgrove Street in Grangetown and Cowbridge Road in Canton – operated under a ‘gentleman’s agreement’, as two separate companies, but using a mutually agreed trademark. Both businesses were run by descendants of the founder Mary Clark.
However in 2005, a new trademark was registered to the Clark’s Pie family in Grangetown, which excluded anyone in Wales using the words ‘Clark’s Pie’, including the business trading on Cowbridge Road.
The trademark ‘CLARPIE’ is stamped on the bottom of Clark’s Original Pies.
In June 2010, the two outlets announced a proposed merger, but the Cowbridge Road outlet pulled out of the deal, and went on to rebrand itself as Mary Clark’s Pie Company in May 2011 in an attempt to “retain some reference to the trading heritage of the business, its family name and create a separate identity from the shop in Grangetown”.
Clark’s Pies in Grangetown then said they felt this led to a lot of confusion and might damage its brand, adding it had no choice but to take legal action. Its decision prompted the Mary Clark’s Pie Company shop on Cowbridge Road to rebrand as Victoria Park Pie Company.
Amanda Rosoman of Clark’s Pies in Grangetown, a great grand-daughter of original founder Mary Clark, said: “Being such a tight-knit family business, it’s incredibly sad that we have had to take action against our former partnered outlet, but the survival of the original Clark’s Pie brand, which my great-grandmother founded almost 100 years ago, is of the utmost importance.
“Unfortunately, the confusion that ensued following the rebrand of Mary Clark’s Pies forced us to take legal action to prevent any further damage to our original Clark’s Pies brand.”
Ceri Dutch-John, also a great grand-daughter Mary Clark, from Victoria Park Pie Company, added: “This has been a very hard decision, because legally we’re in breach of trademark law and, to prevent the risk of any further legal action being taken against us, we’ve made the difficult choice to relinquish trading under our family name.”