A Cockermouth businesswoman has spoken out about the ordeal of a legal battle over her brand name.

Sarah Kekus, a nutritional therapist and yoga instructor, said she spent years building her business under the name The Health Architect.

But last year she was shocked to hear from a London-based business claiming they owned the brand.

Sarah, of Greysouthern, said: “They claimed that they had registered a trademark for the words ‘The Health Architect’ and that they could stop me trading. 

“I was horrified, I had meticulously built my business. ‘The Health Architect’ brand was unique, I was well known in the Cockermouth area and was also receiving national recognition. 

“Suddenly, and quite out of the blue, somebody was telling me that I had no rights in my brand and that I should give them my website and social media pages.”

Konstantinos Kapelas, who trades in London as Total Health Now, had registered the trademark ‘The Health Architect’ in June 2018.

Mr Kapelas said the only contact he made with Sarah was to ask her to have a discussion about the use of the brand name.

He said he made clear to Sarah that although he would be allowed to stop her from using the name since he owned the trademark, it was not his intention to do so. He also asked her if she would consider selling her website domain and the Facebook page.

Mr Kapelas said: “I only wanted to use ‘The Health Architect’ as a fame name rather than a full business. The reason that I decided to do that was because my brand mentor suggested to me that I should build a personal brand. No one went after her business.”

Sarah turned for advice to local intellectual property specialist, Jonathan Moore, of Moore Commercial Law Limited.

She said: “I was really pleased to learn that there is a solicitor able to help me in such a specialised area of law.”
Sarah successfully applied to cancel the Mr Kapelas’ trademark.

Sarah said: “It was really daunting to take on a London company, but I was not prepared to give up what I have built so carefully over the years.” 

“It was lots of hard work and some sleepless nights, but I am so pleased that I persevered. 
“The boot is now on the other foot and the business has had to remove all of my branding and will not be able to use my brand in the future. 

“I now have a trade mark for ‘The Health Architect’ which will protect my business going forward.”
Sarah was also awarded legal costs.

Mr Kapelas said he decided not to appeal the decision.

He said: “I had very strong grounds that there is no misrepresentation that someone will mistake my business with hers.”
He added: “I let it go so I can use the money and energy elsewhere.”