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  1. ITV Report

John Lemon v John Lennon: Trademark row as Beatles widow sues lemonade start-up

Yoko Ono is suing a small East London start-up. Credit: PA

A small start-up company selling John Lemon lemonade is being sued by Yoko Ono for "abusing and misusing the legacy of John Lennon to sell their soda".

The widow of Beatles legend John Lennon says the soft drink infringes on the trademark of her late husband's name.

But the founder of Mr Lemonade Alternative Drinks Ltd, based in Bow, East London, says his product is a different brand.

John Lemon's founder says there's no confusion between the names. Credit: PA

Karol Chamera, 30, told the East London Advertiser: “They are trying to find a case because of similarity of the name, but these are two different names, two different brands.

“All of us involved with this product are start-ups and we couldn’t take on someone who is worth many, many millions.”

Yoko Ono with Beatles legend John Lennon. Credit: PA

The John Lemon trademark was registered by the Polish manufacturers of the lemonade in 2014 and their solicitor confirmed the John Lennon trademark application was not filed until 2016.

Mr Chamera insists UK sales of the product have not been linked to John Lennon’s name or image, but says fighting the threatened law suit was impossible due to the threat of paying Yoko Ono’s legal costs.

He now has to sell all his stock before a ban comes into effect on 30 October.

Do you remember these previous high-profile trademark wars?

The store is being sued by the country's government. Credit: PA

The country's government launched legal action against the British supermarket over the use of its name. The case is ongoing and could rumble on for years.

Actress Jennifer Aniston wears the trademark Louboutin shoes. Credit: PA

Nestle attempted unsuccessfully to trademark the shape of its four-finger KitKat chocolate bar.

A row erupted between fashion giants over the use of red soles on their shoes. Louboutin won after numerous fierce court battles, but YSL was granted permission to use red soles only if the rest of the shoe was red too.

Weetabix was banned from entering New Zealand due to rival Weet-Bix. Credit: PA

McDonald's sued a small Malaysian restaurant named McCurry in 2001 but a the Appeals Court eventually ruled in McCurry's favour because they are "two different businesses which sell different types of food and they have different customers".

New Zealand customs seized hundreds of boxes of the breakfast cereal Weetabix after complaints by rival cereal giant Weet-Bix, owned by multi-million pound firm Sanitarium, that it could confuse customers.