Quick (-ish)question for the hivemind...|
My kid's childminder has run her own business for a good few years called 'Funky Monkeys Childminders' in Nottingham. She's received an email from some guy over in Northern Ireland who owns a children's soft play business with 8 premises over there saying that he's now trademarked the name 'Funky Monkeys' and that she's got to change her business name otherwise he's going to sue her.
She also owns the domain name 'funky-monkeys.co.uk', whereas his is 'funkymonkeys.co.uk'. He's again threatened her with legal action if she doesn't hand the domain name over to him, free of charge, immediately.
Legal matters aside, the emails are pretty rude and unpleasant, he's clearly trying to 'muscle' her a bit and get her scared that he'll basically ruin her.
What's the actual legal rights of everyone here? Can you even trademark 'Funky Monkeys'? It's not exactly an uncommon phrase. Also, surely he can't just demand domain names willy nilly, can he? She's even offered to sell it to him, which set him RIGHT off!
I'd appreciate some facts about what he can and can't demand if anyone knows about this sort of thing. Ta.
THIS SPACE FOR RENT