Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 18:44 UK

UK paint firm wins Picasso battle

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso died in 1973 in France at the age of 91

A Northampton paint business has won a six-year battle with the family of Pablo Picasso to name one of its ranges after the Spanish artist.

Manders Paints was granted the legal right to use the name for its Picasso Tint to Taste range, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has confirmed.

The ruling means that only company owner Dougie Urquhart can use the name Picasso to brand UK painting products.

Mr Urquhart described the decision as a "landmark ruling".

He said: "They (the Picasso family) continued to appeal and appeal in an effort to grind me down but I didn't give in.

Other artists registered

"They granted the licence for Citroen but the great man was a painter.

"I attacked them on the section that involves paints and they could not prove usage in that section."

Manders Paints, based in Semilong, argued that other famous artists' names, such as Matisse and Renoir, had been registered as trademarks.

But the Picasso estate reportedly argued that Manders wanted to exploit the world-famous Picasso name.

An IPO spokesman said: "The key issue was the distinction the IPO drew between, on the one hand, the notoriety of an individual, and the commercial reputation that exists in the name.

"In the case of Picasso, he enjoys a notoriety as an artist, but the evidence only showed a commercial reputation in respect of vehicles - you will be aware of Citroen's use of the name in respect of its Xsara.

"Such a commercial reputation was not sufficient to prevent use by a third party to indicate the trade origin of paints."

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