MoonWalk charity brings in lawyers against Kent event with similar name

Walk the Walk, which has been running the MoonWalk for 21 years and has registered it as a trademark, wants Dover's Full-Moon Walk to change its name

The event that upset Walk the Walk
The event that upset Walk the Walk

The breast cancer charity Walk the Walk has asked its lawyers to write to a Kent fundraising event that adopted a similar name and branding to its trademarked MoonWalk event.

Dover’s Full-Moon Walk, which took place in March this year and raised £51,000 for Breast Cancer Care, has been contacted by Walk the Walk asking for the campaign’s name and branding to be changed.

Walk the Walk runs MoonWalk events in London and Scotland every year, and the charity claims that the similarity of the names infringes Walk the Walk’s intellectual property rights.

Walk the Walk said that Dover’s Full-Moon Walk had tried to register the name as a trademark, despite having been contacted by Walk the Walk and Breast Cancer Care about changing the name of the event.

In a statement, Nina Barough, founder of Walk the Walk, said it was "unthinkable" and a "waste of precious funds" for the charity to have to take action even though it had contacted Tracy Whiteaker, who runs Dover’s Full-moon Walk, about the alleged infringement.

"It is with great sadness that Walk the Walk has been forced to take action in respect of the event started by Ms Whiteaker, who, like us, is raising money for breast cancer," Barough said.

"It feels unthinkable and such a waste of precious funds that Walk the Walk should have to protect itself against another organisation using our flagship event's name, while raising money for a similar cause."

The statement said that both Walk the Walk and Breast Cancer Care had "strongly advised" Whiteaker to change the name of the event if it was to be held in the future.

Barough said that Walk the Walk had not objected to the event taking place this year, but the name MoonWalk was a registered trademark of the charity.

"Ms Whiteaker continued to include the name Moon Walk in the name of her event and proceeded to apply for a trademark. Walk the Walk was alerted to this by the Intellectual Property Office, which thought the name was very similar," Barough’s statement said.

"Walk the Walk then notified Ms Whiteaker again to say that we would oppose the application. We were hoping for a response from Ms Whiteaker so that both parties could avoid any further legal action. However, as there was no response, our solicitor advised that we had no choice but to send a formal letter."

The MoonWalk has been running for 21 years and has raised more than £120m since it began, the statement said.

Dover’s Full-Moon Walk did not respond to a request from Third Sector for comment before publication of this story.

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