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Can I reference 'Sherwood Forest' in my product literature

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:53 am
by Jimnibob

I am developing an artisan product for retail and one of its features is that it uses locally sourced ingredients, which I have obtained with the landowners' permission.

The land the ingredients have been harvested from is in the heart of Sherwood Forest and this is something I wish to highlight in my product description and story about the product.

Am I allowed to do this?

Sherwood Forest is owned by Thorseby Estate and is managed by the local county council under contract lease by Thoresby Estate. I want to ensure that I can use the words 'Sherwood Forest' without infringing any rights etc.

Any advice, please?

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:59 pm
by AndyJ
Hi Jimnibob,

The words 'Sherwood Forest' do appear in several registered trade marks, (for example here and here) but none of the registrations cover food, and in any case as I understand your posting you don't intend to use the words in the name of your product(s), so there is very little chance of confusion arising, which means that a claim of trade mark infringement seems most unlikely. And there is nothing to stop you using the words descriptively in your write-up about the source of your products.
There might have been a problem with using the words descriptively if 'Sherwood Forest' was registered as a Geographical Indication* rather like Melton Mowbray for pork pies or Stilton for cheese. But that since that hasn't happened with Sherwood Forest, we can forget about that. If you are interested in such things, a complete list of the current UK GIs can be found here.

Indeed if the local council have a tourist or marketing strategy for the Sherwood Forest area (as I believe is the case with the 'Robin Hood' myth), you may be able to benefit from extra advertsing through this channel.

*There are actually 3 separate types of GI:
  • protected geographical indication ( PGI )
    protected designation of origin ( PDO )
    traditional speciality guaranteed ( TSG )
but since they don't apply here, I won't bother going into any detail about them.

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:27 pm
by Jimnibob
Thanks for the info. Very helpful