A middle-aged Lake District gardener is embroiled in a lawsuit over her business name with the world-famous Eden Project in Cornwall.
Suzanne Davies, 57, from Cumbria, was challenged by solicitors who rent the resort after naming her business Gardens of Eden.
Ms Davies said she gave her small business the name because she works in gardens and lives in the Cumbrian region of Aden.
She tends the lawns, flowerbeds and shrubs for the residents of Penrith, approximately 405 miles from the Eden and Biodomes Project near St Austell in Cornwall.
Susan Davies said she named her work The Gardens of Eden because she and Gardens live in the Eden district of Cumbria. She looks after the lawns, flower beds and shrubbery for the residents of Penrith, approximately 405 miles from the Eden Project.
But The Eden Project, which has attracted millions of visitors since it opened in a disused quarry in March 2002, has formally opposed the trademark application by Davies.
The Eden project has produced an estimated £2 billion since it opened twenty years ago, while Davies works on a smaller scale using her shovels, picks and pitchforks in the gardens around Penrith.
She was asked to agree to legally binding terms for naming her company because it was “similar” to the Eden Project trademarks.
The pictured Eden Project has generated an estimated £2 billion since it opened in 2002. In an October letter, Eden Project’s lawyers said they had discovered Ms Davies’ trademark application and were “concerned” about the “similarity”. The Company’s name
Ms Davies said: “It is corporate bullying. They get away with it because they have the financial power to impose their will on others.
Everyone understands that the two companies are not related.
“I don’t think that when someone calls the Gardens of Eden horticultural service to do their borders in Cumbria, they think someone is coming all the way from this big dome in Cornwall to do it.”
In a letter dated October, attorneys for the Eden Project said they had discovered Ms Davies’ trademark application and were “concerned” about its “similarity” to the Eden Project’s trademarks.
They said they would withdraw their opposition to her request if she agreed to sign a legally binding document agreeing to a set of criteria.
This included not using their company name outside of Cumbria, not using the word “Eden” in any other trademark and not questioning the Eden Project’s use of the word.
The Eden Project, famous for its round domes, said it would withdraw its objection to Miss Davey’s application if she agreed to sign a legally binding document approving the list of criteria. This included not using the name of the Gardens of Eden Company outside of Cumbria
Davies said she refused to sign but could not afford to oppose Project Eden to her trademark application.
“I don’t want to fight with such a huge, huge company,” she said.
“I have no intention of slashing my way to world domination — I was willing to agree to use my company name only for Cumbria horticulture, as required.
“There’s only so much gardening you can do in a week,” she added.
But the legal document, when it arrived, went beyond what I expected, insisting on terms it could not agree to.
“It is not right that they are trying to claim ownership of the word of a place name,” she said.
“Eden is also a name of a river and a surname, and is used by other companies in Cumbria.”
The Eden Project issued a statement saying it was “glad” for them to use the Eden Gardens name “for their residential gardening activities in Cumbria”, but did not comment on the terms stipulated.
A spokesperson for The Eden Project said: “Discussions are ongoing regarding your trademark application and we hope to be able to finalize it to everyone’s satisfaction soon.”
Plans were approved in January for the £125m Eden Project North in Morecambe, Lancashire, due to open in 2024.
Three seafront pavilions will be built in the shape of a shell on the coast, which the charity behind said would reinvent the area into a “coast resort for the 21st century”.
The then prime minister, Boris Johnson, said the government had “enthusiasm” for the project but needed a good feasibility study before it could commit financing.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11425819/Penrith-gardener-Susan-Davies-accuses-Eden-Project-corporate-bullying-business.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Penrith Gardener Susan Davies accuses The Eden Project of “corporate bullying” over her company’s name