Chip shop in trouble from The Only Way is Essex over name

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The fish and chip shop

A fish and chip shop in Chipping Ongar, Essex, has received a legal letter from The Only Way is Essex. The shop, which opened five months ago, is called The Only Way Is Fish, and uses a logo which is similar to the show's. This, the owners say, has prompted action from the show's production company.

So what did they do wrong, and what alternatives could they consider?

The row

The Daily Mail reported that the owner Francesca Clark, received a letter from Lime Pictures telling the shop they could face legal action over the use of the phrase 'The Only Way Is...' in the name. The letter asked her to change the name and the shop's logo within 14 days.

The shop put up a notice on its Facebook page saying: "We have been contacted by the producers of The Only Way is Essex regarding the content of our Trading Name "The Only Way Is Fish". I would like to remind all our customers and the general public, that we are no way affiliated or endorsed by Lime Pictures holding Ltd or ITV Productions."

It added that they had not decided what their next step should be.

The owner told ITV that the irony was that people weren't going to the shop because of its name - they went for the food - so they hadn't even gained anything from the pun in the title.

Lime Pictures told AOL: "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".

Clearly when a brand is worth so much, and there's potential to roll it out across the world, there's a very good reason for a company to be robust in its defence.

But it could be a sad end for an affectionately-named shop, which follows a great British tradition of amusing shop names.

Great puns

Some shops have elevated the business of naming the store to an art form. Ten of our favourites are:
Just Falafs - a falafal specialist in central London
Bonny Tiler - a tiling and bathroom company in Llantwit major
Wok this Way - a Thai and Cantonese takeaway in Glasgow
Florist Gump - a florist in Glasgow
Spex Appeal - an opticians in Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Surelock Homes - a locksmith in Portsmouth
Cycloanalysts - a bike shop in Oxford
Bloemen Ecke - a florist in Edinburgh
Alan Cartridge - a Leeds print shop
Planet of the Grapes - wine shop in East London

In the world of fish and chips, there are also some great examples:
Plaice Station in Warrington
New Cod in the Block in Sheffield
A Fish Called Rhondda in Mid-Glamorgan
Codrophenia in Sheffield
Frying Nemo in North Humberside