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Dixons sues Time over ComputerWorld name

Trademark spat

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The Dixons Stores Group has fired off solicitor's letters to the Time Group telling it not to rebrand its shops as the The ComputerWorld. This name is too close to that of Dixon's PC World chain and could cause confusion, DSG claims.

Time has already renamed its Burnley branch The ComputerWorld and intends to have 150 stores refitted and rechristened by the end of June.

The name, the result of some focus group action conducted by Time, is really annoying Dixons. A spokesman for DSG said the group was taking it
very seriously. "Our legal department has written to Time expressing our concerns about the similarity of the names. PC World - the Computer Superstore is part of our registered trademark."

Time is up for a fight. In a statement it said: "Dixons and the Time Group are in discussion however we are not aware of any legal action taking place. If there were to be legal action we would defend it vigorously as we are not passing off The ComputerWorld as PC World."

An exasperated Simon Turner, MD of PC World, said: "We think this will confuse customers." He expressed concerns that customers will think that PC World is adopting a Tesco Metro/Sainsburys Local approach by introducing smaller high street sister shops. Turner said: "We will definitely not move onto the high street."

There are 108 PC World stores: the smallest have 10,000 sq ft of trading space and carry 5,000 product lines. More typically, stores are between 18,000sq ft to 20,000 sq ft and are sited out of town. Time shops, and the Tiny branches it took over when Tiny went into receivership, are 1,000 sq ft and are mostly town
-centre based.

A Time spokesman agreed there was massive difference in size between the two store types and thought that people wouldn't confuse PC World, The ComputerWorld or even CarpetWorld for this reason. "It's just a completely different concept," he said. ®

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