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Assos wins fight to stop UK company ASOS using its brand name in Switzerland

Similarity in names could lead to consumer confuson, says cycling clothing firm

Assos has reportedly won a legal battle to prevent the UK-based online retailer ASOS from selling products under that name in the upmarket cycle clothing company's home country of Switzerland – a home win for bib shorts V the little black dress.

According to the website This Is Money, Assos persuaded regulators at the European Union’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) that consumers could become confused due to the similarity between the two brand names.

That’s despite the fact that you’re unlikely to find a model wearing nothing but a pair of bib shorts on the ASOS website, while Assos is unlikely to be a first port of call for any woman looking for an evening dress to wear to the UCI’s Christmas bash.

Switzerland is not a member state of the European Union, but trademarks granted to businesses within the country are covered by OHIM. This Is Money reports that ASOS is planning to appeal the ruling, which was made last November.

ASOS, which is also fighting a separate action brought by German men’s clothing firm Anson, has been one of the star performers of the UK stockmarket in recent years, with its share price trebling in the last year alone.

Yet in late 2005 the company, whose name stands for ‘As Seen On Screen’ – initially, it helped fashionistas put together the look worn by stars pictured in glossy mags as they took to the red carpet for a fraction of the cost – was faced with disaster when its warehouse was destroyed following the fire at the neighbouring Buncefield fuel depot.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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