A historic Sheffield sweet company has won a long-running legal fight against a Leeds rival to keep selling an old favourite: Yorkshire Mixture.
Maxons spent £15,000 on a case that lasted a year-and-a-half and went all the way to the UK and European Intellectual Property Office.
But the firm emerged victorious and the familiar bags of boiled sweets will be sold unchanged, preserving at least five jobs.
Maxons leapt into action when Joseph Dobson of Elland applied to trade mark ‘Yorkshire Mixture’ in a move that would have prevented any other company using the title.
It led to lengthy legal arguments about what constitutes Yorkshire Mixture, its heritage and its history
Maxons’ version is worth 35 per cent of the firm’s business and directly employs five people. Bosses feared that without the traditional name sales would plunge.
Richard Pitchfork, joint managing director, said: “It is a big relief to us. Yorkshire Mixture is one of our biggest sellers and a product we are renowned for and proud of.
“We have maintained that at its core it’s the company name that indicates the true quality. It is nice to see the UK and EU Intellectual Property Office agreeing with us.”
The 25-strong company, which can trace its roots back to the 1880s, has been making Yorkshire Mixture for more than 75 years.
Based on Bradbury Street off Valley Road, Meersbrook, turnover is £1m-a-year.
The company recently rebranded its 250g bags using designs by local artist Luke Prest.
Mr Pitchfork added: “It was straight after we launched our new packaging that their application was submitted and this whole saga began.
“We have been awaiting the decision of the two authorities to be able to really launch the new branding.
“We now have some fantastic listings with the likes of Boyes, TJ Hughes, Asda, Tesco, the Range, Co-op and Morrisons. We look forward to growing the business without this worry.”
The firm was also awarded the trade mark for ‘Maxons Yorkshire Mixture’ preserving its right to use the traditional name.