Pret A Manger has told a London bakery to stop using the name Bread A Manger.
The food chain has issued a notice to the two-man bakery and also told them to hand over their website.
However, bakers Fouad Saber, 42, and Bertrand Kerleo, 47, are refusing to back down and say they won’t be changing their marketing materials.
The duo say when they first opened the letter - sent by top international patent and trademark law firm Dehns - they thought it was a ‘scam’.
French-born Saber said: "I was convinced it was a scam. I really thought it was a scam until I checked online the name of the lawyer company.
"I found it funny at first. But when I read the letter it was quite scary.
"It was a 15-page letter demanding today for us to change the company name, change the sign, hand over the website for free.
"It would cost around £8,000 to £10,000 to change everything.
"Our customers mostly pay and order online so even the thought of doing anything like what they are asking would badly damage the business."
Initially, Pret A Manger had demanded Bread A Manger change their name today - 3 March - but now say it is only looking for a ‘response’.
Bread A Manger specialises in patisserie, birthday cakes, and bread using homegrown ingredients and bakes fresh every day.
It came about as a merger of two companies: Manger Moi, a former shop in Stratford, and Dynamic Baking Classes, in 2019.
Saber continued: "They are completely two different companies. It means 'bread to eat'.
"Pret A Manger is different in French, it means 'ready to go' or 'ready to eat' depending on how you use it.
"Pret A Manger was set up in London by an Englishman in the 80s. Obviously, they do sandwiches, salads, coffee, etc - it's fast food.
"We're completely different. We are a patisserie, we make bread, we do birthday cakes. We're not in competition.
"No one ever has come to us and said it looks like a Pret.
"We honestly didn't think about [Pret] when we created the name."
Pret A Manger has however insisted the names are too similar.
Jo Holinska, Head of Operations, London City, Pret A Manger, said: “Thousands of Pret Team Members across London have worked hard to earn the trust of customers in the city over the past four decades, and although we appreciate it when other businesses take inspiration from what we do, this name is just too close, especially when many of the products are similar too.
“We’re more than happy to give the business the time it needs to make these changes and to provide any support we can, and we’ll be getting in touch again to see if we can resolve this in a fair and amicable way.”
Featured Image Credit: SWNS