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BPE Solicitors Taste Sweet Success in Trademark Dispute

A team of intellectual property specialists at Gloucestershire-based BPE Solicitors has advised Maxons Ltd in a legal dispute regarding the trademark for the name ‘Yorkshire Mixture’, a traditional combination of boiled sweets.

Maxons, a Sheffield based family company, has a history of producing much-loved local sweets for more than 130 years, putting its name to iconic products such as Jesmona Black Bullets, Bonfire Toffee and Rainbow Crystals and, more recently, Sweet Peaks and Charles Butler.

The use of the Yorkshire Mixture name was called into question in 2015 after Joseph Dobson & Sons, also a confectioner in Yorkshire, put in UK and EU trademark applications for “Yorkshire Mixtures” which, if successful, would give them the legal right to stop other companies, including Maxons, from making the sweets under the name ‘Yorkshire Mixture’, and ensuring that Joseph Dobson became the sole makers and custodians of the well-known sweets.

Led by Partners Iain Garfield and Riyaz Jariwalla, BPE was able to secure permission for Maxons, and every other confectionary manufacturer, to continue making Yorkshire Mixture sweets. The UK and European Intellectual Property Offices agreed that the term ‘Yorkshire Mixture’ was descriptive of a mixture of boiled sweets predominantly manufactured in the Yorkshire area, and that no single company should have the sole right to use the name Yorkshire Mixture.

Iain said: “We have worked with Maxons for more than 10 years, and so we understand very well how important this product is to the business and its customers, and to the confectionary sector more widely. We’re very pleased with this result and look forward to continuing to support Maxons in the future.”

Maxons were also awarded the trademark for Maxons Yorkshire Mixture in the process, preserving the company’s right to continue making the product in the future.

Richard Pitchfork, Joint Managing Director of Maxons, commented: “It’s a big relief to us. Yorkshire Mixture is one of our biggest sellers and a product we are renowned for and proud of. It’s a product that is very close to our hearts as a family and to the people of Sheffield. We have maintained that, at its core, Yorkshire Mixture is simply a mixture of quality boiled sweets made in Yorkshire and it’s the company name that indicates what that mixture is and the true quality of it.”