A SCOTTISH jewellery company has lost a legal battle with Simon Cowell after trying to launch a range of charms called Little Mix.
The media mogul’s company Syco called in lawyers after Lanarkshire-based SGI Jewellery launched the product with the same name as the girl group.
Sharon Gallacher, the owner of SGI, had claimed that the charms were in no way related to the group that won The X Factor in 2011.
The dispute began when Mrs Gallacher, who runs the business from her home in Greengairs, near Airdrie, applied to register the name for a new range of jewellery.
Cowell’s music label, which represents the band, launched a legal action to oppose the trademark application.
In court papers, the label accused SGI of trying to cash in on the fame of the band and claimed it had only decided to launch the range after the group appeared on the ITV reality show.
The UK Intellectual Property Office, which rules on trademark disputes, has now found in Cowell’s favour and told SGI it cannot use the name to market its products. It has also been ordered to pay Cowell’s company £2,200 in legal fees run up over the course of the action.
Mrs Gallacher, 43, said yesterday that she was devastated by the ruling.
“We are just gutted by this decision, absolutely gutted. We thought we had a really good chance of winning this case,” she said. “I have no interest in Little Mix or anything about them, I wasn’t trying to make money out of them.
“I gave evidence for an hour and a half and thought I’d done enough. I felt we had a case even though we were taking on the might of Simon Cowell.
“The name Little Mix was chosen for a new charm collection because they are both ‘little’ and a mixture of different things, nothing more.”
In a written judgment, trademark hearing officer Mark Bryant said he was unconvinced by Mrs Gallacher’s claims that the launch of the charms was unconnected to the pop group.
He said: “The impression created is that the applicant did not choose the mark in early summer of 2011 but much closer to the filing date and in response to the band Little Mix achieving success on television programme The X Factor.
“This was done with the aim of making financial gain from the success of the opponent.
“Having concluded this, I must ask whether the filing of the application amounts to an act of bad faith.
“At the time the application was filed, the applicant was aware of the band Little Mix and its efforts to illustrate that it had, in fact, come up with the name the year before are not credible in light of the flaws in the evidence. Having regard for all of this, I conclude that the application was made in bad faith.”
No-one from Syco was available for comment yesterday.
Little Mix, whose members are Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall, became the first group to win The X Factor in 2011 and have had some considerable chart success.
They scored a number one with their debut single and have sold about three million albums worldwide.