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Monzo wins brand protection case against London snack bar

Monzo Closet is no more.

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TS Anil/Monzo

UK neobank Monzo has won a trademark ruling against a London-based snack bar that named itself Monzo Closet two years ago. 

According to official documents, Monzo (the ‘hot coral’-coloured bank with c.6 million customers) brought a case to the Company Names Tribunal, an official body ruling on trade mark disputes, against Monzo Closet and its sole director Maruf Moral.

“On 12 October 2022 the company names adjudicator issued a decision ordering the respondent to the proceedings, MONZO CLOSET LTD to change its registered company name to one that is not an offending name by 12 November 2022, in accordance with section 73(1) of the Companies Act 2006, subject to any appeal. No notification of a notice of appeal to the court in respect of the decision has been received,” the ruling said.  

Monzo Closet, which operates a snack bar in central London, according to Companies House, did not respond to the ruling prompting a forced changing of its name and fees totalling £800.

The company was only incorporated on 20 June 2020, coincidentally just a few days after the neobank closed its £60m Series G round of funding at a 40 discount to its previous valuation. 

Monzo is well known to take its brand very seriously. It is also no stranger to trademark disputes having been forced to change its name from Mondo in its year or so of operations owing to a similarly named business that objected to its use by the then-fledgling company.

The name Monzo was then selected by its early users following a competition in which it received c,12,000 suggestions of what it should rebrand to following the ruling.

Monzo also unsuccessfully tried to trademark its ‘hot coral’ brand colour in 2018 after its attempt to stop other global brands from using the eye-catching shade instrumental in its early customer growth was rejected in 2019. 

Monzo declined to comment on the trademark ruling. Maruf Moral was unavailable for comment.

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