A legal stand-off over the use of the word Finnieston has ended with independent cafe Finnieston House changing its name to The Cran’. The sudden re-brand of the vegan hangout, which opened on Argyle Street in January, was prompted by a challenge brought by another food business, believed to be Kained Holdings, the operators of The Finnieston.
Shortly after opening, Finnieston House was informed that the word Finnieston was registered as intellectual property by a neighouring business.
Legal arguments were made that another food business in Finnieston using the name of the area would infringe on existing trademarks.
Kained Holdings have several properties on or near to the Argyle Street strip and have been instrumental in driving the regeneration that’s made Finnieston one of the coolest parts of the city.
Their restaurants and bars include Lebowskis, Porter & Rye, The Finnieston, The Duchess of Argyle, The Drugstore Social and The Kelbourne Saint.
Aziz, owner of The Cran’, confirmed the circumstances of the name-change to Glasgowist. “Yes, there has been an unfortunate situation that has led us to make such a quick re-brand.”
“Someone had the word Finnieston copyrighted as their intellectual property. There was an argument that we infringed on their rights.”
“There’s a question mark over the name of an area being, sort of, coined in like that because it has bigger implications in the community. Being a small business, if we wanted to fight it then it would boil down to lawyers and money, we’re not in a position to do that.”
“We’re moving on and being positive. We’re still passionate about the history of the area. We’re trying to do something that adds to the area and the provenance of food and the story of the area is what got me to start the project in the first place.”
When asked whether he believed that the name Finnieston can be used by any other food business on Argyle Steet, Aziz added:
“It’s open to interpretation. I just want to focus on the business now, I don’t want it to come across like this is still a bone of contention. We don’t want to take the subject any further.”
Manager Tom told us that the name The Cran’ was chosen as the local landmark is visible from close to the cafe.
He added that suppliers like Something Brewed and Big Bear Bakery continue to offer cakes and coffee alongside the vegan food available in the store. There are local artists exhibiting on the walls and musicians are invited to use the space.
We emailed questions to Kained Holdings relating to this story but they have declined to comment on Finnieston House or the intellectual property rights relating to the use of the word Finnieston.