The Frog by Adam Handling gives Frog Bakery a cease and desist over their name

The  Staff Canteen

Chef Adam Handling's restaurant Frog by Adam Handling has issued a cease and desist to Camberwell Bakery over its name.

The owners of the Frog Bakery, Rebecca Spaven and Oliver Costello, are seeking a three-month grace period after being told to change their restaurant's name in just six weeks in a legal threat from the Adam Handling Restaurant Group.

The group has issued a cease and desist order over the Frog Bakery's name stating that there is potential for confusion between the two businesses. Adam Handling, who owns the Michelin-starred Frog by Adam Handling in Covent Garden, has used the international law firm Taylor Wessing to instruct Frog Bakery to change its name.

Frog Bakery opened in April of this year, having run as a pop-up under that name since June 2021.

The focal point of this issue is that there is a potential for confusion between the two businesses as both are London hospitality venues and there is overlap in their activities. In a comment given to Eater London, Rebecca said, “It’s the kind of potential for confusion because we are within the same industry, if we were to cater an event as Frog, basically someone could potentially assume that it was Adam’s Frog that was catering that event.”

The Adam Handling Restaurant Group also released a statement, that said: “The Adam Handling Restaurant Group has been in touch with Frog Bakery because its choice of name conflicts with our earlier rights and has caused confusion amongst many of our diners and within the hospitality industry. The directors of Frog Bakery have responded and we anticipate resolving matters amicably soon.

“Our FROG name is very valuable and important to us. We have no choice but to protect it from both deliberate and, as this seems to be, accidental conflicts.”

The cease and desist gives the Frog Bakery team six weeks, from 14th July 2022, to make all the changes necessary however, through its own lawyers, it has requested three months to implement what will be a completely new identity.

Despite only recently being established the team is resigned to the fact they will have to change the name - although they have stated the frog logo will remain in situ.

The Camberwell bakery is a small operation, with only the duo of Rebecca and Oliver able to handle all of the business-related sides of the business, which would make it difficult to make the changes needed in just six weeks. 

The team were incredibly surprised by the law firm's email and actually thought it was going to be an invitation for an outside catering job. Rebecca said: “I got really excited. And I read the email and the letter attached. And I was just like totally numb, so unexpected.”

According to the duo they had done a search for bakeries with frog-related names before they chose it but had never heard of Adam Handling, nor his restaurant group.

Luckily Rebecca said: “Financially, it’s not going to be a massive hit because we haven’t got a huge amount of printed stuff. We have a sign that we need to get repainted. And these new stamps, but we did this whole thing on the cheap."

"So luckily, there’s not a huge amount to do. It’s more the reputational and emotional cost of it. It’s our identity and we’re gonna have a lot of work to do, especially get word out there. This is who we are now.”

The Eater London confirmed that Frog Bakeries lawyers had formally responded to AHRG on 26 July.

While this may seem like an overreaction from AHRG, the company is required by law to enforce their trademarks or it may lose them, as such they have to force this cease and desist order.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 28th July 2022

The Frog by Adam Handling gives Frog Bakery a cease and desist over their name