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Owner of Claridge’s asks judge to send woman who ran Claridge Candles to jail

Lawyers representing Claridge’s Hotel Ltd argued that 64-year-old Denise Shepherd, who lost a trade mark fight, is in contempt of court.

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The Claridges Hotel in London

The Claridges Hotel in London

The Claridges Hotel in London

The owner of one of London’s most famous hotels has asked a judge to jail a 64-year-old divorcee for infringing a trade mark.

Lawyers for Claridge’s Hotel Ltd on Monday said Denise Shepherd, who ran a business called Claridge Candles Ltd, was in contempt of court.

They urged Judge John Kimbell to hand her a suspended prison term because she had not complied with an order by another judge who rules she had infringed a trade mark belonging to the hotel firm.

I don’t think the people who bought my candles would be the kind of people who would stay at Claridge’s. As someone said to me, this was a ‘Goliath versus David’ battleDenise Shepherd

Judge Kimbell, who oversaw a High Court hearing in London, said he would reconsider the case on a date to be fixed.

Lawyers representing Claridge’s, in Mayfair, launched legal action against Claridge Candles and Ms Shepherd more than three years ago.

They accused Ms Shepherd of trademark infringement, a claim she disputed, with a judge ruling in their favour.

Recorder Douglas Campbell was told Ms Shepherd, who lives in Claridge Court, Hempstead, Gillingham, was the sole owner of the candle firm, which had an address at a business park in Folkestone, Kent.

He ruled that people may believe Claridge Candles is linked to the hotel.

Claridge’s “action for infringement” and “action for passing off” had succeeded, the judge said, ruling that Ms Shepherd was “personally liable” for the “acts complained of”.

My client has no desire to see Ms Shepherd given a custodial sentence or fined. There has been no compliance with the order at allGeorgina Messenger for Claridge's Hotel Ltd

A barrister representing Claridge’s on Monday told Judge Kimbell that Recorder Campbell had ordered Ms Shepherd not to infringe the trade mark, nor “pass off” goods as those of Claridge’s Hotel, and to destroy all goods in her possession “bearing the mark” Claridge.

Georgina Messenger said Ms Shepherd had not complied and argued that a “suspended custodial sentence” was justified,

She said that, “in view of Ms Shepherd’s continuing and deliberate refusal to comply”, Claridge’s had been “left with no choice” but to bring a committal application.

“My client has no desire to see Ms Shepherd given a custodial sentence or fined,” she added.

“There has been no compliance with the order at all.”

Ms Shepherd said she would try to find a lawyer to represent her.

After the hearing, she said she has gone out of business and was not working.

Ms Shepherd said she had made candles and sold them online.

The name “Claridge” came from her address, she said.

She said she inserted an image of a candle instead of an “I” in the word “Claridge” on her logo.

“I don’t think the people who bought my candles would be the kind of people who would stay at Claridge’s,” she said.

“As someone said to me, this was a ‘Goliath versus David’ battle.”

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