Dame Vera Lynn wins gin trademark battle

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Dame Vera Lynn turned 100 years of age in 2017

A gin company has been ordered to pay Dame Vera Lynn £1,800 in legal costs after losing a case to trademark the singer’s name for its drink.

Halewood International applied to register the trademark “Vera Lynn” in June last year, due to its use in cockney rhyming slang for the word gin.

The 102-year-old opposed it on the basis that using her name could be seen as an endorsement of the product.

The firm had argued ‘Vera Lynn’ is more known as slang, than for the singer.

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One of Vera Lynn’s most famous songs, We’ll Meet Again, was released in 1939

However, trademark hearing officer Al Skilton disagreed.

She said: “The applicant… has failed to provide any evidence of the level of understanding of cockney rhyming slang in the UK, or anything to illustrate the level of awareness of the term Vera Lynn with reference to gin.

“The evidence falls a long way short of showing that the relevant public for alcoholic beverages will, on encountering ‘Vera Lynn’, see it as a rhyming slang reference for gin, rather than bringing to mind the entertainer Vera Lynn, who has been in the entertainment business for 84 years.”

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Vera Lynn, pictured in 1945, is also known as the Forces’ Sweetheart

The We’ll Meet Again singer from Ditchling, East Sussex, has been popular since the Second World War, and has been using her name as an unregistered trademark for her music since 1939.

Dame Vera’s legal team said the Forces’ Sweetheart was also “very well-known for her charity work, including with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer.”

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