Nando’s intellectual property dispute with independent chicken shop

Fernando’s, a Reading-based restaurant specialising in chicken, is facing potential legal action as household name restaurant chain Nando’s has alleged that it has been infringing its intellectual property rights and must rebrand. The chicken shop has been accused of copying both Nando’s name and images.

The restaurant has been served with legal notices alleging that it has infringed Nando’s intellectual property rights with its confusingly similar branding. It has also alleged that the restaurant’s name is similar to its own name.

Fernando’s have been asked to rebrand to avoid further action being taken. It has been reported that a letter sent by lawyers acting for Nando’s raised concerns about Fernando’s use of Nando’s intellectual property rights including trade marks “Barcelos Cockerel” and “Peri-ometer” devices.

Business director Asam Aziz has received glowing reviews of his chicken dishes. Aziz feels Nando’s is “bullying” him and argued that the chain is “threatened” by his business’ success. He told reporters that he and two friends came up with their business idea several years ago.

“I’m just an independent business owner. I thought I would start something new, a brand of my own but now this has created such a storm,” he said.

“Why have they left it until now to contact me with this; why not do it right at the start? I think they’re threatened by me and my menu.”

He further claims that the restaurant’s name was inspired by the fictional “Isle of Fernando’s” which features in the British television show Take Me Out.

A spokesperson on behalf of Nando’s has stated: “We are really proud of our brand and we know it means a lot to our customers. That’s why whenever we think there is trademark infringement we try to sort it out amicably. We have asked this restaurant to re-brand because we believe it is trying to benefit from some of the things that make us who we are – our menu, logo and even our name.”

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Maung Aye
Maung is a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department. He joined Mackrell Turner Garrett following corporate law positions in London and in a leading regional firm in Essex. Maung read European Legal Studies at Lancaster University and the Università degli Studi di Trento and is a fluent Italian speaker.