Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

‘Outrage’ after company trademarks the Welsh language words ‘cariad’ and ‘hiraeth’

29 Jun 2022 2 minute read
Cariad

Welsh speakers have reacted with anger after a company was allowed to trademark the Welsh language words ‘cariad’ and ‘hiraeth’.

The words were copyrighted by the company Fizzy Foam from Bridgend after an application to the Intellectual Property Office.

A lawyer who specialises in intellectual property has declared himself “amazed” after learning of the decision, after previous attempts to copyright equivalent common words in English were rejected.

The decision also prompted a backlash online, with concern that the Welsh language would be bought up and others stopped from using words.

Reacting on social media, Efan ap Ifor said that the move was “outrageous”. He added that “both the ⁦Intellectual Property Office and Fizzy foam have made a major error here.

“These words belong to everyone in Wales and no one has the right to attempt to possess them as property.”

Mart Verallo John said that the decision was “disgusting”.

“Genuinely shocked the Intellectual Property Office have approved this. The Welsh language belongs to its people, it’s not for businesses to own, trademark, commodify and restrict our culture and heritage out of greed.”

Tracey Jones added: “Good grief. How can they be allowed to trademark words?? I wouldn’t buy from this company on principle.”

Morgan Lloyd said: “Money can’t buy you love, but it can trademark it in Welsh so its use is restricted if you want to put it on a candle.”

‘Rejected’

Jonty Gordon the director of Cwmni Amgen Law said that attempts to copyright such common words in English, particularly ‘love’, had been rejected.

He added that the decision would cause “sleepless nights” for other companies in Wales.

“It really amazes me that they got this permission – that it’s registered,” Jonty Gordon told the BBC.

“The Intellectual Property Office has been very strict on registering Welsh words on common goods such as candles, and in this context a fairly common word as well.

“There’s a famous case of the word ‘love’ where it has been rejected many times on all kinds of goods or services and when I’ve advised on registrations like that I’ve referred to that case and the Intellectual Property Office always refers to it as well and rejects any similar word.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

27 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

Crowd-fund a court case, this is outrageous…this company needs blackballing!

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
5 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Best suggestion I’ve read today.

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

This just shows the contempt our country, language and culture are held in by the English establishment, either that, or they are just plain ignorant.

Anon
Anon
5 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

It’s a company in Bridgend…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

How is this possibly? Those words ‘Cariad’ & ‘Hiraeth’ are used daily by thousands. And both also feature on numerous Welsh language products. #Twp

David
David
5 months ago

Name: FIZZY FOAM LTD
Address:
3 The Rhiw
Postcode/City:
CF31 3BL Bridgend
County:
Bridgend Wales
Phone:
01656 667510
Website:
fizzyfoam.co.uk

David
David
5 months ago
Reply to  David

Looks Like This Domain (fizzyfoam.co.uk) Isn’tConnected To A Website Yet!

Tegid
Tegid
5 months ago

Had to check my calendar as I thought this was a (poor) April fools joke.

Ant Heald
Ant Heald
5 months ago

Hmm – it seems the company behind Penderyn have trademarked ‘hiraeth’ for wines and spirits too. https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmowner/page/search?id=1503510&domain=1&app=0&mark=UK00003232425

And there are loads of trademark registrations for ‘cariad’ for different classes of products. And indeed for the word ‘love’ so I’m not sure how confident I’d be having that lawyer represent me! I’m not saying it’s right, but there’s a bit more (or less?) to this story than meets the eye.

Bill
Bill
5 months ago

I have put a boycott suggestion on FB

Aderyn
Aderyn
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill

How horrible, to encourage people to boycott a Welsh independent business just because of your ignorance of trade mark law.

Gaynor
Gaynor
5 months ago

Somebody copyright “ Cwtch “ for god’ sake and start charging a fortune for its use

John Brooks
John Brooks
5 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor

Or even Cwtsh. Try to pronounce cwtch remembering that ch is always hard like the ch in the Scottish Loch.

Gaynor
Gaynor
5 months ago
Reply to  John Brooks

Never mind…

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago

The assault on our language continues.

julian lacey
julian lacey
5 months ago

This is not right, any words of any language put up for sale is wrong, this must be rescinded

G Horton-Jones
G Horton-Jones
5 months ago

The Intellectual Property Office has no remit outside England

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
5 months ago

Nation.Cymru has stirred up a lot of misplaced anger on this issue. Before getting all steamed up, please check out what a trademark actually is.

There are numerous examples of the words “love”, “darling”, and many other common dictionary words, forming part of trademark registrations.

There are plenty of instances where the Welsh language is abused by ignorant or overbearing state action. This is not one.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
5 months ago

It seems well placed to me. Trademarks should not be permitted on common usage words AT ALL except perhaps if included in a phrase specific to a particular company’s marketing.
Both “Fizzy Foam” (they better have trademarked that, because I’m gonna give it a try) and the IPO (might give that a try as well)

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
5 months ago

I recommend everyone who feels offended by the inclusion of “Cariad” in a trademark registration takes the trouble to look up exactly what a trademark protects. There seems to be a misplaced belief that it confers some kind of ownership over the word itself.

Aderyn
Aderyn
5 months ago

This story only affects you if you’re a candle maker. These trademark registrations give the company an exclusive right to use the marks on candles and nothing else. Everybody else, untwist your knickers and carry on using these words in your everyday life.
And either Jonty Gordon has been misquoted or he needs a trade mark refresher course.

Llywelyn Ein Llyw Nesaf ond Un
Llywelyn Ein Llyw Nesaf ond Un
5 months ago

Calm down everyone. Basically Nation.Cymru has got all worked up about nothing. I think an article by a lawyer on Trademarks would be a good follow-up. Interestingly ‘Cariad’ has been a trademark for a rose since 2013. It’s also used for a logo (first aid services), property services, jewellery and watches, wine and much much more! Mainly businesses from Cymru. Also “Cariad Coffee” is a trademark for just about anything to do with coffee – not unreasonable if you’ve called your company “Cariad Coffee” – a lovely name. It just means that no-one else can sell ‘Cariad coffee’. Although as… Read more »

Bobby
Bobby
5 months ago

Almost 100% correct. Anyone can still make cariad candles and sell them. But, the owner of the trademark can pursue them if they wish. If, (big if) Amazon decided to make cariad candles, then I think I know who would win in court.

This is why the picasso family sold the “TRADEMARK” to Citroen. Because they didn’t have the resources to pursue infringement.

I’m all for outrage, but ignorance is absolutely embarrassing. The article here and other commenters should be ashamed.

Conscientious Objector
Conscientious Objector
5 months ago

What’s an adequate Welsh term for Boris Johnson? Maybe someone should trademark his picture with that fitting descriptor on tea cups and copyright their artwork? Wonder if that would be deemed artwork, marketing or appropriation?

Critcher
Critcher
5 months ago

Bojo

Julie Viner
Julie Viner
5 months ago

My daughter is called Cariad. Its on her birth certificate, does this mean she cannot use her name?

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.