A trademark shootout has been prevented: gunmaker John Rigby & Co. announced the resolution of its trademark and intellectual property dispute against a London, UK-based entity operating under a confusingly similar name.
The English gunmaker has been operating from Paso Robles, California (USA) for some years now. But after they abandoned their London offices, a “new” John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. surfaced in the UK.
The story in a nutshell: the “original” John Rigby & Co claims to be dating back to Ireland in 1735. But the “new” John Rigby & Co merely claims to have filed a corporation under the name John Rigby & Co (Gunmakers) Ltd. after the “original” John Rigby neglected to file a trademark or incorporate the company in England.
So the “original” John Rigby & Co forgot to register their name as a trademark and allowed their company name (in the UK) to lapse. Meanwhile, up steps Mark Neal, a London based engineer and avid shooter. Neal wanted to build a modern version of what is widely regarded as the finest double rifle action ever made, the Rigby “rising bite”. Neal even claims to have checked the UK trademark register for the name John Rigby, but nothing turned up.
This trademark dispute went on for years, but has now been settled. As a result of the settlement, “John Rigby & Co. (Gunmakers) Ltd.” and affiliated entities have agreed, in part, to cease operations under any Rigby™- related trade name; to permanently close their website; to change their corporate names; to discontinue application for, or any use of, registered trademarks held by the parent of John Rigby & Co. LLC; and to not infringe on the John Rigby & Co.®, and related, trademarks in the future. London-based J. Roberts & Son is the authorized agent for John Rigby & Co. in the United Kingdom.
MarkMatters.com can only imagine what would have happened if this dispute was set in the Wild West. “Go ahead, make my day!”