War of the rose: Rival breweries fight legal battle

It may be a matter of bitter disappointment to many Yorkshire folk, but Edmund of Langley, the founder of the House of York, was born in Hertfordshire. Yet they could excuse his origins because he bequeathed something special to the county that was synonymous with the dynasty he founded – its white rose.

More than 700 years after the Plantagenet's death, his floral emblem has become the subject of a struggle as lawyers representing two neighbouring Yorkshire brewers – one large, one small – square up in the High Court to argue their claims over the right to use the symbol in what has been dubbed the civil war of the rose.

The tiny Cropton microbrewery, founded by two brothers, Phil and Paul Lee, in the cellar of their pub near Pickering in Ryedale in 1984 (but now operating out of a farm building) has incurred the wrath of the county's oldest beer maker, Samuel Smith's, which is based down the A64 at Tadcaster.

Smith's is known for the low cost of the ales sold from its 300 pubs and the independent family brewers, founded in 1758, still use traditional production techniques – including a pack of working dray horses.

But Smith's took exception to its rival's decision to use the white-rose symbol as part of the packaging for Yorkshire Warrior Ale. Proceeds from sales of the beer go towards helping wounded soldiers from the county regiment. The trademark dispute, after brewing for years, is being laid out this week before Mr Justice Arnold with both sides claiming damages. Clive Auton, Smith's former export manager, told the court that Smith's started using the rose symbol four decades ago after consulting with advertisers.

Cropton's lawyer, Mark Engelman, argued that the white rose is a symbol of the county and the Yorkshire Regiment and has been used in many ways by other companies and organisations, including Leeds United Football Club.

Denise McFarland, Sam Smith's lawyer, rejected the claim and said the Warrior label was "confusingly similar" to the Smith's logo.

She said Smith's was not trying to win a monopoly over the use of the emblem, since there would be no objections to its use in unrelated circumstances. "If a rose device is used on a wedding dress shop in Pickering or a taxi service in Devon, that is not something of which we would have any complaint," she said.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor