Dreamz nightmare: Bed shop duo forced to close website after branding row with Dreams (From Bury Times)
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Dreamz nightmare: Bed shop duo forced to close website after branding row with Dreams
10:12am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
BOSSES at an Unsworth bed shop have been forced to “roll over” and close their website after losing a battle of David and Goliath proportions with a national retailer.
Dreamz Beds, which has been based at Pole Lane for nine years, now faces an expensive rebranding exercise in the wake of a dispute involving Dreams which operates stores throughout the UK.
Dreams PLC had originally written to the Unsworth business in 2010, saying it was protective of its intellectual property rights and trademarks and highlighting the similarity of the names.
Mr Greg Norton, head of IT at the shop, explained: “Initially, they made a whole list of demands.
“We just sent a letter back saying we noted their comments. After that, we heard nothing for ages.
“Then, more than six months ago, we got another letter when they had whittled down their demands to our website. They cited ‘abusive registration’ and wanted us to stop using our name on the internet.”
Manager Graham Jones added: “Their main gripe was that our name, which was on the website as dreamzbedsandfurniture.co.uk, was too close to theirs. And another argument was that on a computer keyboard the ‘s’ is above the ‘z’.”
Eventually, the dispute went to a third party for a ruling. Nominet, one of the world’s leading internet registry companies, found in favour of Dreams and the Unsworth business was forced to close its website.
Greg added: “This was a bit of high street giant bullies small independent retailer situation, David versus Goliath. We are a small company and they’re a massive firm. We are no threat to them in any shape or form, financially or otherwise.”
As a consequence of their website defeat, the Dreamz name will disappear and be replaced by a new name, Atkins Beds and Furniture. Mr Nigel Atkins is the owner of the business. That will involve a rebranding exercise, possibly costing thousands of pounds, involving shop signs, paperwork and other business-related material.
Mr Atkins said: “I was going to change the name of the company in the long run, but we didn’t need this.”
Dreams was rescued from administration in March and now trades as Dreams Ltd.
When approached by the Bury Times, a spokesman for the company declined to comment.
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