National Trust threatens legal action over Glencoe jackets
National Trust for Scotland lawyers have put a small clothing firm on notice.
The National Trust for Scotland has threatened legal action against a small clothing business which it says has violated its trademark.
Lawyers for the charity have ordered Hilltrek Outdoor Clothing to stop selling Glencoe-branded jackets as it owns the rights to the name.
Hilltrek has been making the jackets for 30 years, while the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) only registered its trademark in 2015.
Owner Dave Shand accused the NTS of using "bullying" tactics.
"I'm totally shocked by it, we've been making Glencoe jackets for 30 years," he said.
'I find the National Trust's tactics bullying and I hate bullies.'Hilltrek owner Dave Shand
"How can you trademark a place name? It's our tradition to name our jackets after places in Scotland.
"I'm going to speak to a trademark lawyer and find out what our position is. I find the National Trust's tactics bullying and I hate bullies."
Hilltrek, which is based in Aboyne, produces other jackets named after places in Scotland including Cuillin and Assynt.
On Sunday afternoon, the NTS issued a statement defending its use of trademarks.
It was followed by a second statement 40 minutes later saying the Trust would be willing to discuss the issue with Hilltrek to find a "mutually agreeable solution".
'Our only desire is to protect the properties in our care and stop them being exploited.'National Trust for Scotland spokeswoman
"In retrospect, although the letter sent to Hilltreck was a standard one, it may have been in the circumstances of this particular company too harsh in tone," a spokeswoman said.
"Our only desire is to protect the properties in our care and stop them being exploited.
"Our letter to Hilltreck was intended to open up negotiation to establish if the company had legal prior trading rights and clearly the wording and tone did not convey this.
"We would be happy to enter into a dialogue with them with the aim of finding a mutually-agreeable solution."
When NTS registered trademarks on Glencoe and Glenfinnan three years ago, it said the decision would "categorically not" hinder the use of the names by local businesses.
The move raised concerns despite the Trust's assurances and landowners, who said they had not been consulted, highlighted that the NTS only owns part of Glen Coe.
"Glencoe is our brand as much as it is their brand," Mr Shand added.
"As much as I think the NTS mostly do a good job, why waste members' money on solicitors and trademarking things that shouldn't be trademarked?"