Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Grylls 'lifts legal action on firm'

Bear Grylls was appointed Chief Scout in 2009

Television adventurer Bear Grylls appears to have lifted a threat of legal action against a tiny knifemaker whose name includes the word "bear".

Dorset-based Bear Blades 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.

After last week promising to look into the matter when Bear Blades approached him via Twitter, the 40-year-old Chief Scout last night tweeted the Swanage-based company: "@BearBladesUK you guys are good to go! Apologies again. Good luck and let us know if we can ever help you in your endeavours. BG"

Owen Senior, 33, who set up Bear Blades two years ago, said that the company had yet to hear anything else from BGV.

He said: "We have nothing official at the moment, that is the only concern we have.

"Our plan is just to carry on as we were and not change anything."

He said that the amount of interest that had been shown in their situation had been "amazing".

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.

In the July letter, which has been seen by the Press Association, Carpmaels & Ransford said their client was "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."

But Mr Senior said last week that Bear Blades has sold fewer than 100 knives so far this year.

A spokeswoman for Bear Grylls Ventures was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.

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