Coq-fight leads to legal action from Conran

Terence Conran is again threatening legal action against a rival restaurant chain over an alleged infringement of a registered name.

Conran has registered the name Coq d’Argent for his latest venture, due to open at London’s One Poultry in late August. He says rival venture Café Coq, a proposed chain co-founded by The Slug and Lettuce founder Hugh Corbett, sounds too similar. Conran argues that both operations will be abbreviated by customers to Coq, leading to confusion.

Café Coq partner and major shareholder Chris Bromley says there is a long English tradition of the word cock in relation to restaurants and pubs, and that the company is in the process of registering the name Café Coq. The first Café Coq, which specialises in chicken dishes, opened last month on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Last year Conran won a case against the Mean Fiddler group, which was operating Zincbar in London’s Kilburn. Conran had registered the word Zinc for bar and restaurant use.

Both participants in the current dispute describe legal action as a last resort, but say they will defend their positions.

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