A pizza takeaway has finally thrown in the towel in its battle with an Italian restaurant chain.
Gusto Italian Pizza on Church Street Lytham, will today be rebranded the Lytham Pizza Company after losing its battle with national eatery Gusto.
They want us to change name, branding, take our signs down and stop using our domain name on the internet
Gusto – which has restaurants throughout the North West and in Scotland – is due to open a new outlet on Dicconson Terrace in March.
The rival takeaway owners on Church Road erected a temporary sign this week claiming: “Don’t worry we are still open. We were legally forced to remove our old branding. #BulliedByTheBigBoys.”
A spokesman said: “I thought they wouldn’t be bothered about us.
“But we got a solicitor’s letter and it was very pushy, very demanding.
“They actually tried to trademark ‘Gusto’ but it was knocked back because it is quite a general term. They are Gusto Restaurant and Bar and we are Gusto Italian Kitchen.
“We took advice from a trademark solicitor and he said although we have a good, strong case, it could be a long battle and they have a lot of money and it would cost a lot in legal fees.
“We have a good brand in Lytham, one that gets a great local response.
“People are asking us why we should change for them.
“We got a series of letters from them; the first was threatening. They want us to change name, branding, take our signs down and stop using our domain name on the internet.
“They couldn’t register the name Gusto, but when they are spending a rumoured £1m on the refurb, it could ruin us taking them on.
“I’ve told them that we have built them a fantastic brand in Lytham.”
Their battle has been supported by local customers.
One said: “We should spread the world around and make sure the bullies don’t win.”
Another added on Facebook: “It’s an absolute joke. Gusto should be ashamed.”
Robert Silverwood, vice-chairman of the Lytham Business Partnership, said the group would welcome the arrvial of another restaurant chain in the town centre.
But he added: “It is a real shame a well-established local enterprise has had to change its name in this way.
“It’s unlikely customers would confuse the two and the pizza shop should have been allowed to keep its original name.”
A spokesman for Gusto said: “Gusto Restaurant and Bar is looking forward enthusiastically to opening in Lytham in the New Year.
“We have owned the trademark for the GUSTO name for many years and we are proud of what we have achieved as a business.
“It is only common sense to protect that business and that is exactly what the trademark laws are designed to do. Any sensible business would do the same.
“It is unfortunate that ‘Lytham Pizza’ had invested in a name that was already owned by someone else. We wish them luck with their new branding and we look forward to trading alongside them.”