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'Secret' Shropshire bar in name change after threat of legal action

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | Oswestry entertainment | Published:

A Shropshire bar is having to re-brand after being hit with a threat of legal action over a potential trademark infringement.

Staff at Bar Incognito

Bar Incognito opened - behind secret doors - in Oswestry, in December 2018.

Its aim, to run as a bar which had to be found by its customers, who had to discover a password to be allowed in, was embraced by intrigued drinkers and it soon built up a regular following.

However the owners were shocked when a solicitor's letter found its way to Bar Incognito, out of the blue.

Graeme Kirkham, one of those behind Bar Incognito, said: "Hopefully by now our customers will know we don’t try to take ourselves too seriously, but sometimes in business you have to.

"When opening Incognito back in December 2018, we had lots of different ideas for the trading name but it was the idea of a good friend, after talking him through the concept of the bar which got the nod and the team then brought Bar Incognito to life."

He said last year had been a fantastic start for the business based in a secret location in the town centre.

"Then, in October 2019, we received a solicitor’s letter informing us of a potential trademark infringement of which we disputed," he added.

Goodwill

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The owners sought legal advice over how they could fight any suggestion of alleged infringement.

But Mr Kirkham said: "After seeking legal advice, taking in to consideration legal costs and the trademark owners very good brand reputation, we have decided to re-brand the bar’s trading name to avoid any potential confusion with the mark.

"We retain that there has been no wrongdoing on our part but respect the trademark owner’s point of view and goodwill."

Bar Incognito will end on Saturday, only to re-open on Sunday under a new name, Knock and Snitch.

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"It was really difficult to find a name that stayed true to what we are and one which we could own and run our own website and social media under," Mr Kirkham said.

"Thank you to all customers for your continued support, we will continue to provide you with the service and entertainment expected. We look forward to Sunday when we will start our next journey as ‘Knock & Snitch’ - we are not going anywhere. We have a fantastic team of staff, a great business and wonderful customers."

"We would also like to thank GHP Legal for all of its support and advice on this. The legal team has been superb throughout the whole process."

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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