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28 Aug 2017

Agreement reached on Glencoe trademark

Two men stand side by side outdoors, with a path railing and some trees behind them. Both wear blue shirts and they are shaking hands.
Meeting between the Trust and Hilltrek
The Trust and Hilltrek Outdoor Clothing have come to an agreement over the use of the trademark for ‘Glencoe’.

Following cordial and constructive meetings between the Trust’s Director of Customer & Cause, Mark Bishop and Hilltrek’s Director, Dave Shand, they have shaken hands on an arrangement that ensures the Trust recognises Hilltrek’s prior rights to the use of the word ‘Glencoe’ as the name of a particular style of jacket produced and sold by the company.

“We are pleased to say that there will be no restriction on Hilltrek continuing to use Glencoe as before as the name of this product line.”
Mark Bishop
National Trust for Scotland

When we first took action to protect our properties and the Trust through the application of trademarks, our intention was always to ensure that this protection also sheltered local businesses and communities from exploitative or inappropriate use of the names in question.

We were always clear that we did not see the trademarks having any effect whatsoever on established businesses with local products.

On this occasion, we got it wrong. If we had done our homework on Hilltrek before our lawyers contacted them, it would have been clear that this was a Scottish company which has been manufacturing this product with this name for a number of years. Our first response would then have been to come to a mutual agreement over the issue, which is what we have now achieved.

“As I have said before, the National Trust for Scotland does a lot of good work protecting and caring for the places our customers enjoy. I urge people to go on supporting the charity and the work they do.”
Dave Shand

There is much we have in common as we both appeal to people who love Scotland’s magnificent wild lands and this is something we want to focus on together.

From the beginning we were reluctant to trademark our property place-names but felt we had no choice once it became clear to us that the authorities permit these place names to be registered by other parties. This means that anyone from any nation may be able to trademark our properties, quite possibly in connection with a product we don’t want to be associated with.

If the authorities across the UK and Europe, and the politicians they answer to, want to review the decision to allow place-names to be trademarked, we would wholeheartedly support this.