OWEN PATERSON has called on both sides in the controversial Dearnford Lake trademark dispute to reach an amicable solution – but insisted it is not for him to intervene.
Rob Bebbington made an appeal to both the North Shropshire MP, whose constituency covers Dearnford Lake, and Shropshire Council leader Malcolm Pate as he looks to avoid having to re-brand his business following neighbour Tom Biggins’s decision to trademark “Dearnford”.
Mr Paterson rebuffed any suggestions he should intervene, stating it was not an issue for him.
“This is a private matter between two private individuals,” said Mr Paterson.
“It’s nothing to do with an MP or the government.
“This is a private matter and both sides need to take legal advice. I’m hoping the solution will be amicable.”
Mr Bebbington made the appeal over the weekend as he looked to ensure he could continue to trade as Dearnford Lake – the name under which he has operated since 2011.
Mr Biggins and his wife Julie are asking the Lake ceases using the name by June 16 and have specifically trademarked the name for food and drink, and temporary accommodation use.
Mr Bebbington added: “I have been unable to get any answers from Mr Biggins why he has undertaken this action. He has told local newspapers it is to protect his intellectual property rights for his historic home, but then why not trademark for that category or one that he does operate – as a cheese factor, for example – as declared on his county council information site?
“Dearnford Hall does not operate any food and drink provision or temporary accommodation.
“Renaming and re-branding this business will cost £20,000 – totally unnecessarily. It is money we would have otherwise spent on plans we have – such as further progressing our plans for a hotel, for which we have planning permission.
“As far as the name Dearnford goes, it has been attached to the location for many years – Dearnford Hall, Dearnford Cottage, Dearnford Lake.
“It is on the Ordnance Survey map as such. I do not believe it should be exclusively possessed.”
Mr Biggins, himself a Shropshire councillor, has previously said he had trademarked the name on advice to protect his intellectual property.
Shropshire Council had not responded to a request for information on whether its leader, Cllr Malcolm Pate, would attempt to intervene, before the Herald went to print.