Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Mars Inc Lawyers Letter

Ibsley, Ringwood, Hampshire. 28-October-2003

Seriously, Mars, get a life! I recently came across this historic document. Mars Inc's lawyers wrote to me way back in 2003 because I whimsically used this image on my website:

Given my initials are M and M and my company was legitimately and legally called "M&M Enterprises Ltd" it seemed like a harmless homage to that fine chocolate. However Mars Inc had a sense of humour failure. The weight of a mighty corporation and one of the largest firm of lawyers in the world deigned to write to me. 

Dear Sir

We are the solicitors acting for Mars UK Limited (hereinafter referred to as "Mars"), The content of the website at has recently been brought to our clients attention. We note that the site has now been re-branded. However, our client is concerned with the former content of the site which used characters similar to the M&M's characters.

Mars are the proprietors of several UK registered trade marks in respect of the M&M's characters. The M&M's characters are also protected by copyright owned by Mars.

We are writing to put you on notice of Mars' rights and trust that the site will not in the future feature characters which are similar to the M&M's characters

Yours faithfully

Clifford Chance LLP

So I changed my logo to:

And put the following disclaimer on my site: 

"M&M Enterprises is in no way connected with Mars or their fine product M&M's®. Any similarity between Mark McLellan (a human being) and M&M's (a sugar coated candy) is entirely coincidental."

I wrote back very tongue-in-cheek to inform them of my compliance with their request. Phew, another legal disaster averted.

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