Dave Griffiths, a comedian, has released a documentary telling the story of his ‘David versus Goliath’ intellectual property battle against French Connection UK (FC).
Since 200, Mr. Griffiths has been fighting FC after receiving a formal letter from the fashion retailer accusing him of infringing their copyright and trademark.
At the event, Mr. Griffiths wore a t-shirt that read ‘King Cnut’ (the Danish spelling of the English king ‘Canute’) on the front and ‘French Correction’ on the back – much to the alarm of FC officials sitting in the audience.
As a result, FC received threatened Mr. Griffiths with criminal proceedings if he was seen wearing the offending item of clothing ever again.
However, Mr Griffiths responded to the threat in an unusual way.
“Instead of caving in, I turned the tables on them when I discovered that FC themselves were in fact breaching the copyright of some of the biggest brands in the world — including the Ford and Mars logos – and another KFC-inspired design,” he said.
“I saw them using other people’s designs and started calling round companies like Pepsi, Coca Cola, Durex and IBM to tell them I believed FC was infringing their copyright.”
“Once the first company complained to FC, and that led to a withdrawal and apology, it became an obsession”.
Mr. Griffiths’ “obsession” quickly turned into a direct dispute after the fashion retailer released a clothing line closely resembling Mr Griffiths’ original ‘King Cnut’ t-shirts – the design of which had grown in popularity since his previous tour, C U In Court, where Dave sold them as merchandise.
“When that happened, I simply sent them the legal letter they had first sent me,” he said.
The duo found themselves facing a lengthy legal battle, but eventually “the [FC version of the] t-shirt was pulled,” Mr Griffith’s said.
Following the dispute, Mr Griffith’s has released a documentary charting his misadventures with FC.