‘Outrage’ after company trademarks the Welsh language words ‘cariad’ and ‘hiraeth’
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.”
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.”
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Crowd-fund a court case, this is outrageous…this company needs blackballing!
Best suggestion I’ve read today.
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.
It’s a company in Bridgend…
How is this possibly? Those words ‘Cariad’ & ‘Hiraeth’ are used daily by thousands. And both also feature on numerous Welsh language products. #Twp
Name: FIZZY FOAM LTD
3 The Rhiw
CF31 3BL Bridgend
Looks Like This Domain (fizzyfoam.co.uk) Isn’tConnected To A Website Yet!
Had to check my calendar as I thought this was a (poor) April fools joke.
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.
I have put a boycott suggestion on FB
How horrible, to encourage people to boycott a Welsh independent business just because of your ignorance of trade mark law.
Somebody copyright “ Cwtch “ for god’ sake and start charging a fortune for its use
Or even Cwtsh. Try to pronounce cwtch remembering that ch is always hard like the ch in the Scottish Loch.
The assault on our language continues.
This is not right, any words of any language put up for sale is wrong, this must be rescinded
The Intellectual Property Office has no remit outside England
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.
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)
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.
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.
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 »
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.
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?
My daughter is called Cariad. Its on her birth certificate, does this mean she cannot use her name?