A leading London estate agency has taken issue with Hampton International’s recent brand refresh and in particular its new tagline.
As we reported yesterday, Hamptons International has redesigned its logo and adopted the tagline ‘The Home Experts’.
But nine-branch estate agency James Pendleton says the wording is very similar to its own strapline ‘The Home of Property Experts’.
This difference might go unnoticed by some passers-by but in at least one location the two agencies are next door to each other, including in Battersea on Northcote Road.
At this location Hamptons International has already re-branded its branch with the new look and tagline (pictured).
Lee James Pendleton (pictured), Chief Executive of James Pendleton, says he consulted his lawyers at length yesterday and will make representations to Hamptons International later this week.
“My view is that the two taglines are very similar and that this is a trademark or unfair competition issue that needs to be sorted out,” says Lee.
“I am staggered that the agency’s owner Countrywide didn’t check if there were any estate agency within their patches with very similar taglines.”
James Pendleton has form when it comes to trademark infringements – it won a legal battle with Savills recently over a similar issue.
But the basic rule is that if two firms are in the same sector, then a business owner can prevent others from using his or her trademark only if the other use is confusing – which Lee argues is the case on this occasion.
Hamptons International says all due diligence in reference to competitor tag lines was completed long before launch and “we can confirm that there are no registered UK trade marks for “The Home Experts”.