Wiltshire woman's poppy teardrop 'violates trademark'

image captionOver 1,500 teardrops have been sold since their launch

A Wiltshire charity worker who has made thousands of crystal teardrops for remembrance poppies has been told by the Royal British Legion (RBL) that it is an "unlicensed use" of the poppy.

Lynda Beaven, of Steeple Ashton, has created 4,000 tears to raise funds for the RBL and other service charities.

The project was launched in June to honour those connected with repatriations in Wootton Bassett.

But an RBL spokesman said its trademark rights had been "violated".

According to Mrs Beaven, the Wootton Bassett Teardrops project has sold over 1,500 teardrops at £3 each.

However, on 27 October - on the Poppy Appeal launch day - she said she was told by the RBL that "technically you're not allowed to attach anything to a poppy".

"I was taken aback by that because the Royal British Legion head office have been fully aware of my project since February," she said.

"I even have an email from the publications officer at the RBL giving me permission to use a digital photo of my lapel poppy for fundraising."

'Camilla support'

But the RBL's national spokesman, Robert Lee, said the email Mrs Beaven had received "wasn't a licensing agreement" and using the poppy to raise funds for other charities was "in clear violation of our trademark rights".

"The red poppy is our registered mark and its only lawful use is to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal.

"She has made a not inconsiderable sum of money by selling our poppy and donating proceeds to other charities.

"This person was told the licensing conditions but chose to ignore them."

According to Mrs Beaven, the RBL has yet to speak to her directly, although she said she had stopped selling the teardrops.

"From the public we have received nothing but positive comments.

"And on Saturday I received a letter from Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall thanking me for sending the Wootton Bassett teardrops and saying she shall wear them with pride."

A Clarence House spokeswoman said the duchess would not comment on any private and confidential correspondence.

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