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DFS owned Sofa Workshop is in dispute with upholstery retailer Sofaworks after the former challenged the latter’s intellectual property rights.


Warrington based Sofaworks rebranded from CSL late last year after earlier applying to register six trademarks - including the word Sofaworks and various Sofaworks imagery - with UK IP authorities in the autumn of 2013.


The name change from CSL to Sofaworks followed a switchover of the company's trading arm (CS Lounge Suites Ltd) to Sofaworks Ltd, a longstanding dormant company that had been part of the group since 1996.


Thorne Lancaster Parker, an accountancy firm, has filed objections to all six Sofaworks trademarks on behalf of Sofa Workshop.


Sofa Workshop was registered as a trademark in the 1990s under the classes of upholstery and furniture and additionally in 2006 for retail services and leather goods. The brand has been through numerous changes of ownership and is now owned by upholstery chain DFS.


The Furnishing Report approached Sofa Workshop for comment yesterday morning but it hadn’t responded by the time of publication.


Sofaworks chief executive Jason Tyldesley said: “I can confirm that Sofa Workshop (DFS) have challenged our registration for Sofaworks and that I don't feel it to be of great significance at this point. It's business as usual and progressing well for Sofaworks.”


Simon Clark is Head of Intellectual Property at Berwin Leighton Paisner, specialist design industry lawyers. He told the Furnishing Report that in order to succeed, Sofa Workshop would have to prove there was a likelihood of confusion between the two businesses.


He added that in making a decision, a judge would have to consider three things; if the names looked too similar, sounded too similar and if they were conceptually too similar. He said that if a company successfully argued that its IP had been infringed, the other business could be forced to change its name.



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