Travel: New brand name is plane common

There was no sign of British Airways' new "Go" brand at the London Patent Office yesterday, where trade marks are registered, but painstaking research uncovered a host of other businesses making everything from padlocks to surgical instruments which have already laid claim to the same or a similar identity.

When BA paid for one of the world's leading brand consultants to come up with the name, it may not have realised that "Go" was already the brand behind a range of food supplements made by a company called Science in Sport.

The trade mark document said the supplements were used "in carrying out intensive physical activities". The records also show that Glaxo, the drugs giant, has spoken for the brand for a range of medical, surgical and dental instruments.

The name crops up on sweatshirts and shorts too, from a business called Gerry Faulkner, and also on padlocks and keys from Jack Rogers and Co.

And there are plenty of businesses already queuing to use the brand. Those in the pipeline include the toy giant Hasbro, who would possibly use the title for a new board game, and another business which wants to use the "Go" logo on targets for ball games.

In what may be a bad omen for BA, other companies have ditched the trade mark.

Tonka, maker of indestructible toy trucks, withdrew the "Go" name for its products, and a company called Heinzl apparently no longer uses it for alcoholic drinks.

BA's new airline may well win prizes for simplicity, but Go is unlikely to pick up an award for originality.