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Pho chain drops Brockley Mo Pho trademark action after online backlash
A LONDON restaurant chain has backed down in its bid to make Brockley family-run eatery Mo Pho change its name, thanks to legions of supporters.
The Coulgate Street Vietnamese restaurant had been put on notice by the Pho chain over claims their trademark had been breached.
Pho said their name - which refers to a type of noodle broth also served at the Brockley establishment - was trademarked.
Mo Pho said: "A big heartfelt thank you to everyone for the overwhelming and unexpected support over the past couple of days - it was very touching.
"We are both thrilled and relieved by the news that Pho have decided to withdraw its action against independent Vietnamese operators and will no longer be taking direct further actions against us. We have great respect for their brand and would not wish to cause damage to it.
"We now look forward to focusing on running our family business and continuing to serve great Vietnamese food as Mo Pho."
Pho founders Stephen and Juliette Wall said in a statement: "Recently, after we came under attack by a large US chain restaurant hoping to enter the UK, we received legal advice to follow IP law to protect our brand name, which meant asking all restaurants - large and small - to change their name if it included the word Pho.
"Whilst we will always want to protect the business we have worked really hard to build, we recognise that it is unnecessary to pursue action against independent Vietnamese operators unless they are truly passing off as us, as to benefit from the goodwill of our brand.
"We know that the legal advice we received to pursue IP law in such a way was far too heavy handed, and we've decided to ignore it, and we will not continue that course of action any further."
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