Innocent Vitamins’ £6.99 supplements aimed at children between 3 and 12 have been stocked in Waitrose stores since January.
Innocent Drinks currently is negotiating with Dawn Reid, owner of the East Grinstead-based vitamins company, to stop trading under the name “Innocent”.
Reid says Innocent Drinks’ lawyers wrote to her on 14 February 2011, two weeks after the smoothie maker had applied for a Class 05 trademark classification, the classification which includes food supplements.
On 15 February Innocent Vitamins also filed a trademark application with the Intellectual Property Office in the same Class 05 category.
Innocent Drinks has asked Reid to commit to a “respectable” deadline at which she will stop using the Innocent brand name.
However, Dawn Reid of Innocent Vitamins says she is “very concerned that a drinks company is now seeking to gain a monopoly over a commonplace word like ‘innocent’,” and that the dispute is reminiscent of a match between “David and Goliath”.
Reid adds she believes both companies can continue to “peacefully coexist” without the need for the Innocent Vitamins name to be changed.
The Innocent Vitamins trademark is currently under “new application” status. Once it has been advertised in the Trade Mark Journal, oppositions can be formally filed with the Intellectual Property Office.
Waitrose says it has no further comment to make at this stage.
Read Lara O’Reilly’s analysis here.