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After years of dispute, local online store Yuppie Gadgets, has won two legal cases against fellow ecommerce store Yuppiechef. The ongoing battle between the two companies came to light after a public blog post on Yuppie Gadgets’ website.
In the post, Yuppie Gadgets states that the two companies have been “embroiled in a legal battle” for two years. “We beat them at the Western Cape High Court and now Yuppie Gadgets beat Yuppiechef in a HUGE case at the Supreme Court,” reads the post.
According to Yuppie Gadgets, the company received a lawyer’s letter from Yuppiechef in 2013, which threatened legal action for use of the word “Yuppie” in the company’s name.
An extract from the letter, which was published in the Yuppie Gadgets blog post:
Our client contends that your use of various marks commencing with the prefix ‘YUPPIE’ amounts to a misrepresentation that is likely to cause consumers to believe you are associated with our client and may cause damage to our client’s reputation. Indeed, our client has already received a number of enquiries asking whether it is associated with ‘YUPPIE GADGETS’.
The post explains that Yuppiechef continued to push the trademark issue, even though the two companies filed under different sectors. According to the co-founder and co-director of Yuppie Gadgets, Chantal Kisten, they filed their trademark under ‘service’, and Yuppiechef filed theirs under ‘manufacturing’.
Yuppiechef suggests that consumers could be confused by Yuppie Gadgets’ name
Yuppiechef also stated that customers would be confused by the two names — but Yuppie Gadgets disagrees.
Also apparently the whole of South Africa would be confused when shopping online with our website and theirs. So if you were for example looking for a Kitchen Aid mixer and happened upon Yuppie Gadgets and bought a Parrot Drone then that was a sale that was stolen from them because you know you can mix a mean cupcake mix with a drone.
The judgement for the high court case was handed down on 15 September, with Yuppie Gadgets slamming the bigger company’s actions.
In Yuppiechef’s relentless attack on us we have learned that anything can be overcome with integrity and honesty. So called “Big Companies” cannot bully other companies just because they want to.
Yuppie Gadgets says Yuppiechef had sent them a letter asking the company sign and to undertake certain tasks if Gadgets lost the Supreme Court case. This was before the case took place.
As a totally South African owned company, I found it very disturbing that a company with a major American shareholder – Tiger Global – could attempt to bully their way. Guess that didn’t work out so well. Our justice system is made up of smart and no nonsense judges who CANNOT be bullshitted.
Memeburn has reached out to Yuppiechef for comment, but has yet to hear back at time of publication.
The full judgement can be found here.