When Imitation isn’t Flattery…………..
We have been trading as Little Marshfoot Holiday Accommodation for fifteen years, and over this period have established a regular and loyal clientele as well as welcoming new guests each year. You can see from our site that during this time we have won a range of awards for our eco principles, especially in the early years when we were establishing ourselves and entering competitions.
We have a very extensive presence on the internet which has taken years to achieve, and cost quite a lot!
We are well known for our ecologically and environmentally friendly business ethos. Our gardens are maintained with the needs of wildlife in mind, and we have attracted a wide range of species of birds and mammals. The building itself was designed to attract passive solar heat and the wood for its construction was sourced from sustainable suppliers.
Our neighbours at Little Marshfoot Farm are just next door, and have lived in a bungalow on the farm for ten years. With a growing family they have recently converted a barn to live in, and in November this year (2015) let out their bungalow for self catering, and named it…………Little Marshfoot!
We only discovered this in October when people started phoning up to ask whether we slept four or eight people……….that they were confused about the presence of two very different buildings with the same name at the same address.
Of course there have been a number of ‘discussions’ and representations on our part about this matter, which legally is defined as ‘Passing Off’ and which to us feels like theft, plagiarism, a deliberate act to trade using our goodwill and reputation and is a deeply upsetting situation. Indeed we have spent many sleepless nights trying to understand why our neighbours, who are farmers, and with whom we thought we had a good relationship, would do such a thing.
They had told us earlier in the year that they planned to do self catering from their bungalow, and we have no problem with that. Over the summer they asked for ‘hints and tips’ which we gave, and we had discussions over a number of weeks with the farmer about the importance of choosing an attractive name to avoid confusion. Errr…………….???
In essence, we feel violated.
Whilst we are attempting to resolve this situation, please don’t confuse us with Little Marshfoot – THE BUNGALOW.