Old friends and existing customers of Ping Ping Jewellery Ltd., may well be wondering about the 88London branding of our new site. It might seem commercially strange not to highlight a brand which is known and respected throughout the UK jewellery industry and which carries on its back our reputation for high quality products and superb customer service. But we have our reasons.
To offer some background; the little jewellery company that Susan Lee started - literally - on her kitchen table in the early 2000s, took its title from its founder's nickname, 'Ping Ping'. For several years, the company traded happily under this title, until Susan's brainchild had grown large enough to warrant being turned into a limited company.
Having steadily built an excellent reputation in the industry, we naturally sought to protect our good name by registering Ping Ping as a trademark. Having carried out searches, submitted the appropriate forms and paid the not inconsiderable fee to start this process, we eagerly awaited the announcement of our successful registration. As far as our research revealed, no company even remotely connected to the jewellery industry was using a name anything like Ping Ping.
Alas, we were to be disappointed.
Shortly after the publication of our trademark application, the UK lawyers for a well-known US-based golf club manufacturer (keen golfers will know the company) objected to our registration. Despite the fact that we were attempting to register our trademark only for the jewellery industry, it was apparently feared that granting it could cause confusion among consumers. The prospect of a confused golfer returning home with a 9mm Akoya pearl necklace instead of a 9-iron was, apparently, just too horrible to contemplate.
Despite taking extensive legal advice and having long phone conversations with officials at the IPO (who were actually very sympathetic), we eventually had to conclude that we did not have the resources for a drawn-out legal battle with a US industrial giant. And so, we reluctantly withdrew our application, later successfully registering our 88London trademark.
So while we continue to trade as Ping Ping Jewellery Ltd., we would be foolish to use a retail brand that we can not protect and that might attract further attention from lawyers in the future.
So there you have it. We are still Ping Ping Jewellery Ltd ... and we are now 88London as well!