Grylls wants Swanage company to change name over use of the word 'bear'

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls

First published in News
Last updated

LAWYERS representing a company linked to TV adventurer Bear Grylls have demanded a knife manufacturer changes its name because it features the word 'bear'.

Bear Blades, which is based in Swanage, said it has received a letter from law firm Carpmaels & Ransford on behalf of Bear Grylls Ventures calling for the company to remove any reference to 'bear' including its name, logo, and website.

Owen Senior, who set up the company two years ago, said he plans to change his firm's name because he does not have "the energy or inclination" to fight "faceless" lawyers.

Grylls said he would 'look into this' and that he 'wasn't aware of this' after Bear Blades raised their concerns with him on Twitter.

Owen said they were 'bitterly disappointed.'

"We're trying to build a small business - it's as much a hobby as it is a business - then someone completely faceless comes along and demands we change our name.

"He's meant to be Chief Scout and encourage outdoor activities. We'll now look to rebrand because we don't have the energy or inclination to fight it.''

Mr Senior, 33, said he has written to Carpmaels & Ransford to ask why they have made the request to his firm, which he claims has sold less than 100 knives so far this year.

Grylls, 40, who was appointed Chief Scout in 2009, has found fame in both the UK and America with his survival television series, including Man Vs Wild and Running Wild With Bear Grylls. He has also collaborated with knife maker Gerber to create his own range of blades and tools.

A spokeswoman for Bear Grylls Ventures refused to comment. However, after Bear Blades tweeted Grylls today, he replied: ``Let me look into this.''

In the letter, which has been seen by the Press Association, Carpmaels & Ransford say their client is "very concerned" about Bear Blades' application to register its logo 'Bear Blades. Steel. Strength. Utility.'

They wrote: "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'.''

The lawyers wrote that the logo is "very similar" to their client's 'Bear' mark and covers "identical and similar goods, namely knives and sheaths for knives".

They added: "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.

"Our client has furthermore built up a considerable amount of goodwill and the logo has acquired a reputation in the United Kingdom. Your use of a very similar mark takes unfair advantage of and is detrimental to the distinctive character and repute that our client's Bear mark enjoys."

In the letter dated July 25, Carpmaels & Ransford request that Bear Blades change its name to remove the reference to 'bear', withdraws it trademark application for its Bear Blades logo and cancels the registration of the domain name bearblades.co.uk.

They also ask the company to "cease all use of any mark containing or consisting of bear or bear blades in any form and in any manner, including but not limited to online, social media, printed materials, packaging and to refrain from such use in future".

The letter goes on: "Whilst our client realises this will have a significant impact on your business, as a trade mark applicant yourself, you will appreciate the value to our client of its name and the importance of preserving exclusivity in that name.

"If you agree to comply fully and to provide written undertakings to that effect, our client is willing to discuss a suitable phase-out period for your bear name in order to facilitate your transition to a new name."

Carpmaels & Ransford requested that Bear Blades respond to them by August 7.

"If you do not agree to these requests, our client reserves the right to take all necessary steps to protect its intellectual property rights,'' it added.

Comments (24)

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1:55pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Boganish says...

A big black bear had just emptied his bowels and was cleaning himself up when a koala bear stumbled across him. The big black bear asked the koala if poo sticks to his fur? The koala replied "no" The big black bear replied "oh good" picked up the koala and wipped his bottom with him.
A big black bear had just emptied his bowels and was cleaning himself up when a koala bear stumbled across him. The big black bear asked the koala if poo sticks to his fur? The koala replied "no" The big black bear replied "oh good" picked up the koala and wipped his bottom with him. Boganish
  • Score: 19

2:11pm Sat 9 Aug 14

BigAlfromsunnyBournemouth says...

If it had been my company I would have told them to shove their ridiculous letter where the sun doesn't shine.

The supposedly copyrighted logo is a bear paw print, the same logo is on my winter boots made by an American company called "Bearpaw" that has been going for years. I would suggest it is also on many other bear branded items across the world.

If Bear Grylls wants to have an exclusive brand he should be using Grylls.
If it had been my company I would have told them to shove their ridiculous letter where the sun doesn't shine. The supposedly copyrighted logo is a bear paw print, the same logo is on my winter boots made by an American company called "Bearpaw" that has been going for years. I would suggest it is also on many other bear branded items across the world. If Bear Grylls wants to have an exclusive brand he should be using Grylls. BigAlfromsunnyBournemouth
  • Score: 28

2:27pm Sat 9 Aug 14

pete woodley says...

Big head Grylls, is getting above his station.
Big head Grylls, is getting above his station. pete woodley
  • Score: 29

4:08pm Sat 9 Aug 14

S,Bowes says...

Standby Yogi .theirs a prat that wants you to change your name
Standby Yogi .theirs a prat that wants you to change your name S,Bowes
  • Score: 13

4:10pm Sat 9 Aug 14

ShuttleX says...

pete woodley wrote:
Big head Grylls, is getting above his station.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually agree with you for once.
[quote][p][bold]pete woodley[/bold] wrote: Big head Grylls, is getting above his station.[/p][/quote]I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually agree with you for once. ShuttleX
  • Score: 12

4:13pm Sat 9 Aug 14

burgerboy says...

pete woodley wrote:
Big head Grylls, is getting above his station.
As they say:-
Do bears sh*t in the woods? this one does because he's so full of it.......
[quote][p][bold]pete woodley[/bold] wrote: Big head Grylls, is getting above his station.[/p][/quote]As they say:- Do bears sh*t in the woods? this one does because he's so full of it....... burgerboy
  • Score: 16

5:13pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Arjay says...

I can see that the company probably can't afford to risk a fight in court... but it stinks that you can have your business adversely affected just because someone with enough resources behind them doesn't like your name.....

As for changing the company name... well an obvious choice ( if their knives are sold unsheathed?) might be 'Bare Blades'....

Of perhaps 'Koala Blades' ? .. they can't really complain about that.. Koalas aren't actually bears, so any actual association with the word 'bear' would be purely co-incidental....
I can see that the company probably can't afford to risk a fight in court... but it stinks that you can have your business adversely affected just because someone with enough resources behind them doesn't like your name..... As for changing the company name... well an obvious choice ( if their knives are sold unsheathed?) might be 'Bare Blades'.... Of perhaps 'Koala Blades' ? .. they can't really complain about that.. Koalas aren't actually bears, so any actual association with the word 'bear' would be purely co-incidental.... Arjay
  • Score: 10

6:02pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Rich© says...

Meanwhile Paddington the furry animal from darkest Peru has had to change his name by deed poll to Paddington Ray Mears.
Meanwhile Paddington the furry animal from darkest Peru has had to change his name by deed poll to Paddington Ray Mears. Rich©
  • Score: 12

6:39pm Sat 9 Aug 14

sprintervanman says...

Nurse and a Doctor are getting ready to perform a circumcision operation on Bear Grylls. At the last last moment the Doctor wipes his brow and says, "Sorry i cannot perform this operation on this man". The concerned Nurse asks if this is because Bear Grylls is is a Well Known man and the operation may go wrong. " No", says the Doctor " There's just no end to this Pr!ck"
Nurse and a Doctor are getting ready to perform a circumcision operation on Bear Grylls. At the last last moment the Doctor wipes his brow and says, "Sorry i cannot perform this operation on this man". The concerned Nurse asks if this is because Bear Grylls is is a Well Known man and the operation may go wrong. " No", says the Doctor " There's just no end to this Pr!ck" sprintervanman
  • Score: 17

7:14pm Sat 9 Aug 14

S,Bowes says...

I'm going to buy one on line just to bog the bloke in short trousers and a toggle.knob head
I'm going to buy one on line just to bog the bloke in short trousers and a toggle.knob head S,Bowes
  • Score: 7

7:14pm Sat 9 Aug 14

bobthedestroyer says...

Technically it is the company not him. I believe Bear Grylls replied to the tweet the owner sent him saying he would look into it. I'd be surprised if he'd be looking for infringements
Technically it is the company not him. I believe Bear Grylls replied to the tweet the owner sent him saying he would look into it. I'd be surprised if he'd be looking for infringements bobthedestroyer
  • Score: 5

7:22pm Sat 9 Aug 14

S,Bowes says...

Just check on Amazone how much this bloke is asking for ordinary stuff that bears the name of a mammal that he was named after,thankfully it was no monkey or Johnie
Just check on Amazone how much this bloke is asking for ordinary stuff that bears the name of a mammal that he was named after,thankfully it was no monkey or Johnie S,Bowes
  • Score: 4

7:37pm Sat 9 Aug 14

bobthedestroyer says...

S,Bowes wrote:
Just check on Amazone how much this bloke is asking for ordinary stuff that bears the name of a mammal that he was named after,thankfully it was no monkey or Johnie
I don't think his real name is Bear. I think it's Edward Michael Grylls. Wonder how that is interpreted legally as it's a nickname.
[quote][p][bold]S,Bowes[/bold] wrote: Just check on Amazone how much this bloke is asking for ordinary stuff that bears the name of a mammal that he was named after,thankfully it was no monkey or Johnie[/p][/quote]I don't think his real name is Bear. I think it's Edward Michael Grylls. Wonder how that is interpreted legally as it's a nickname. bobthedestroyer
  • Score: 7

7:46pm Sat 9 Aug 14

X Old Bill says...

Perhaps Carpmaels & Ransford could explain to the world how one can confuse
A knife with and orange and black plastic handle showing the initials BG
with:
A knife with a wooden handle with a bear paw mark on the blade.

Maybe they are worried that the latter product is perhaps better quality and more likely to appeal to the sort of person that really needs it rather than someone who wants something just for show.
Perhaps Carpmaels & Ransford could explain to the world how one can confuse A knife with and orange and black plastic handle showing the initials BG with: A knife with a wooden handle with a bear paw mark on the blade. Maybe they are worried that the latter product is perhaps better quality and more likely to appeal to the sort of person that really needs it rather than someone who wants something just for show. X Old Bill
  • Score: 4

8:03pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Townee says...

When are the brown, black and grizzle going to change their names before they get a letter. What a load of rubbish, how can someone say they own the name of an animal.
When are the brown, black and grizzle going to change their names before they get a letter. What a load of rubbish, how can someone say they own the name of an animal. Townee
  • Score: 8

8:50pm Sat 9 Aug 14

scrumpyjack says...

Townee wrote:
When are the brown, black and grizzle going to change their names before they get a letter. What a load of rubbish, how can someone say they own the name of an animal.
Try telling that to Caterpillar, or Penguin, or Wolf Skin, or Firefox, Red Bull, Puma, Dove or even Animal.
[quote][p][bold]Townee[/bold] wrote: When are the brown, black and grizzle going to change their names before they get a letter. What a load of rubbish, how can someone say they own the name of an animal.[/p][/quote]Try telling that to Caterpillar, or Penguin, or Wolf Skin, or Firefox, Red Bull, Puma, Dove or even Animal. scrumpyjack
  • Score: 8

11:31pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Yankee1 says...

Grylls is a fraud, in it for the dosh. He is not 'Everyman'. Ludgrove and Eton....the ultimate in Tory privilege that can be bought......he might just allow David Cameron over his doorstop. Too bad Bear did not have the A levels to go to Oxbridge. Too thick for competitive education exams.

Will his lawyers attack all North American companies that use the word 'Bear'? He may find HE is the one sued. That would be fun.

He is a disservice to the Scout movement. It should chuck him out. Now.

BP would be livid.
Grylls is a fraud, in it for the dosh. He is not 'Everyman'. Ludgrove and Eton....the ultimate in Tory privilege that can be bought......he might just allow David Cameron over his doorstop. Too bad Bear did not have the A levels to go to Oxbridge. Too thick for competitive education exams. Will his lawyers attack all North American companies that use the word 'Bear'? He may find HE is the one sued. That would be fun. He is a disservice to the Scout movement. It should chuck him out. Now. BP would be livid. Yankee1
  • Score: 5

2:54am Sun 10 Aug 14

billd766 says...

Fom what I have read in the OP it was not "Bear" Grylls who actually contacted the knife company but his lawyers. He probably knew nothing about it until he was told. It was probably some over zealous twit in a suit trying to prove how good he is to his bosses and didn't take the time to think it through and didn't bother to talk to his client first.
Fom what I have read in the OP it was not "Bear" Grylls who actually contacted the knife company but his lawyers. He probably knew nothing about it until he was told. It was probably some over zealous twit in a suit trying to prove how good he is to his bosses and didn't take the time to think it through and didn't bother to talk to his client first. billd766
  • Score: 4

3:19am Sun 10 Aug 14

BIGTONE says...

Steiff better watch out!
Steiff better watch out! BIGTONE
  • Score: 6

6:51am Sun 10 Aug 14

Tango Charlie says...

Bear Cross will be next then...
Bear Cross will be next then... Tango Charlie
  • Score: 8

8:15am Sun 10 Aug 14

kalebmoledirt says...

The knife company should counter claim get him a more appropriate Nick name .like **** or thrush
The knife company should counter claim get him a more appropriate Nick name .like **** or thrush kalebmoledirt
  • Score: 6

10:05am Sun 10 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

Get, a life Bear.
Get, a life Bear. FerryFan
  • Score: 6

12:04pm Sun 10 Aug 14

bobthedestroyer says...

I wouldn't have ever thought Bear Blades was connected to Bear Grylls based on the common denominator being "bear".
I wouldn't have ever thought Bear Blades was connected to Bear Grylls based on the common denominator being "bear". bobthedestroyer
  • Score: 4

1:36pm Sun 10 Aug 14

mikeymagic says...

I'd bet that this is some tw*t in a suit being all nerdy rather than anything instigated by Bear himself. Got to at least give him the benefit of the doubt.
I'd bet that this is some tw*t in a suit being all nerdy rather than anything instigated by Bear himself. Got to at least give him the benefit of the doubt. mikeymagic
  • Score: -2

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