Chef James Cochran, who appears on the TV show Great British Menu 2018, is facing off with his former restaurant James Cochran EC3 over the registration and use of his name.
James Cochran was formerly of two-Michelin star restaurant The Ledbury located in West London. He opened his self-titled restaurant the James Cochran EC3 in 2016. He left the restaurant last April, two months before his slated appearance on the renowned BBC 2 cooking show.
To his surprise, even after his departure, the restaurant sold recipes under his name—in packages like £50 for five recipes—which prompted the chef to respond. In a tweet, James Cochran wrote: “Wtf?? Who is going to pay £25 a week just to add my name in front of the recipe?? I will give you the recipes for free if your that low!!”
Rayuela Limited, Cochran’s former employer, includes the recipes on the website www.jamescochran.co.uk, with the header saying “TRADEMARKED FOR A REASON.” The website offers not only licenses for interested partners to use the recipes but also the promotional use of the James Cochran name and trademark.
Chef Cochran links the timing of the release of the recipes with his recent public appearances. He writes: “It’s crazy…just are just trying to cash in on me for being on TV this week!!”
A spokesperson for Rayuela took to Twitter to issue a statement, saying that the company was able to file for the proper ownership of the James Cochran trademark before Chef Cochran issued his resignation. They were also able to file it before the Great British Menu finished filming, implying that the two issues were not related.
The filing of the trademark registration complicates the matter. The restaurant refers to the Act in a tweet calling for support for Cochran (the restaurant), saying that intellectual property is rightfully owned by the employer, and that Cochran was merely an employee.
Rayuela also adds that they have attempted to negotiate ownership of the trademark with Cochran, but the chef is not willing to pay the full amount for complete trademarking.
Trademark registration not only secures your brand and reputation, it also assists in making your business distinguishable and recognisable from competitors. In the case of James Cochran, the company can continually profit from his recipes even if he is longer affiliated with them—which means he does not receive any compensation for his creation. The restaurant maintains, however, that they have formally registered the trademark, giving them the right to use the trademarked name, which is within their rights as a legal owner.
Pinnacle can help you with your questions on trademarking your brand, whether its your name or the name of a product or service. We have years of experience in protecting brands from theft both locally and internationally, and we can assist you with the whole registration process to ensure that your brand is safe and secure.