Essex

Towie The Only Way is Fish gets extra time to change name

The Only Way Is Fish Image copyright other
Image caption The takeaway on Fyfield Road in Ongar opened earlier this year

A fish and chip shop in a copyright row with the makers of ITV show The Only Way is Essex has been given more time to change its branding.

The Only Way is Fish, in Ongar, was told by Lime Pictures its name infringed the show's trademarks.

Co-owner Kevin Gibbons accused the company of being "a big fish controlling what we do" and said it should pay for any change.

The company said it had extended a deadline but would not comment further.

The Fyfield Road takeaway was told by letter on 2 May it had 14 days to change its branding.

Lime Pictures claimed the shop had "copied our logo without permission" and illegally used the show's "marks" on its Facebook page.

Image copyright ITV
Image caption The Only Way is Essex features ordinary people in modified situations

The letter warned the firm must stop trading under its "marks" and remove its Facebook page within 14 days to avoid action being taken against it.

It has since extended the deadline to 4 June.

Image copyright The Only Way Is Fish
Image caption The owners said notices in the shop made it clear it had no connection with Towie

Mr Gibbons said he and co-owner Dave Edwards would wait to see what Lime Pictures would do, and claimed the company had removed pictures from the shop's Facebook and Twitter profiles.

"Because Lime Pictures are the bigger fish they are able to control what we do," Mr Gibbons said.

He said he was "prepared to compromise" but added: "They don't own the copyright to The Only Way is Fish.

"It's hard enough starting up a business and I've told them we've been fair, but they will have to pay for the changes they want us to make."

In an earlier statement to the BBC, Lime Pictures said: "We own the intellectual property in The Only Way Is brand and we will take steps to protect our brand in line with industry practice."

The Only Way Is Essex, also known as Towie, is a scripted reality show on ITV2 which follows the lives of a group of people in the Brentwood area.

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