Friday 14 December 2018

Irish startup Scoobybox forced to change name after legal warning from Warner Brothers

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A small Irish startup is being forced to change its name after receiving "threatening contact" from Warner Brothers.

Scoobybox, which appeared on RTE's Dragon's Den in April of last year, has been in existence for the past two years.

The company works on a subscription basis, sending monthly boxes of toys and edible treats for dogs to users of the service.

Dragon Barry O'Sullivan was impressed by the pitch from co-founders Gary Redmond, Liam Brennan and Paul Carrick.

His investment helped leverage their business in the Irish and the UK market, success that has also led to the creation of an online store.

However, their now-established brand will be changing its name to BusterBox following a legal warning from Hanna Barbara, under Warner Bros.

The US animation group stated that the Irish firm must cease using the name 'Scooby' over alleged confusion with its Scooby-Doo cartoon or face legal action.

"They are coming down on us like a ton of bricks, demanding we drop our name and completely delete our entire brand from existence," Gary Redmond said.

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"Our solicitor advised that we would have a good chance of winning the case, but Warner Brothers will just keep throwing money at it."

Mr Redmond, who states that the firm was named after one of his co-founder's grandad's dog, said they feel like they are being bullied by the 'huge company'.

The Irish firm have decided that the battle to keep their original 'ScoobyBox' name would prove too costly for them to sustain.

"They are forcing us to delete our entire brand from existence including all product images and cancel our domain," Mr Redmond told Independent.ie.

"We were never offered the opportunity to license the name.

"We asked to keep our domain name to re-direct to the new website and they said 'no'. We even asked to keep old images on our Facebook page with almost 20,000 fans, they refused."

With a strict deadline for changeover of February 20, the company will be rebranded as Busterbox.

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