It goes without saying that copyright and intellectual property related to design and branding is often a grey area. In certain instances it’s actually easier to tweak a name or logo to avoid grey areas of prosecuting an entity who seems to have taken just a tad too much inspiration from your work. But today we are shocked at Design Tact to hear about the US company MG Food Services that has not only poached the name Ocean Basket – a very well known South African seafood restaurant chain – but they have outright copied the logo AND the story of the founding members.
The blatant and undeniable cheek of this brand identity theft is beyond shocking. And if the above comparison isn’t enough of a slap in the face, they have also allegedly ripped off South Africa’s coffee shop chain Mugg & Bean (part of the Famous Brands group) by using the M&B, Appletizer by using the name Fruitizer and Nando’s by copying the brand identity styling.
None of the M&B, Nando’s or Fruitizer conflicts are as in-your-face apparent as the Ocean Basket brand identity fraud but we hope that the SA food companies will seek legal justice for the pilfering of their brand attributes. As a agency who specialises in food retail brand creation and restaurant design, it is something that certainly strikes a nerve for Design Tact as well.