Exclusive: Golden Balls victory for West Hampstead couple
Susanna Wilkey Exclusive A WEST Hampstead couple have scored a massive victory against one of Europe s biggest media companies over the use of the name Golden Balls. Husband and wife Gus and Inez Bodur, have held the trademark Golden Balls Ltd since 2001
A WEST Hampstead couple have scored a massive victory against one of Europe's biggest media companies over the use of the name Golden Balls.
Husband and wife Gus and Inez Bodur, have held the trademark Golden Balls Ltd since 2001 and until last year had a shop on West End Lane where they sold their sports clothing.
In October 2007 they licensed the name to Endemol UK Plc for the game show hosted by Jasper Carrott and two months later Intra Presse, which is owned by the Amaury Sport Organisation and EPA (Philippe Amaury Publications), the French press group which also owns and runs the Tour De France, accused the couple of cashing in on their trophy the Ballon D'or (European Footballer of the Year Award).
The couple have since been engaged in a David and Goliath battle against the organisation and had to pay out around �100,000 in legal fees defending their brand.
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They were forced to close the shop and the couple, who have two young children, have endured a huge amount of stress and will now be fighting to get their legal fees back.
Ms Bodur said: "We are feeling completely over the moon. We always knew that there was no conflict with their name but because they are such a big corporation we thought that they might be able to beat us.
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"We have never had any dealings with them but this has been going on for two and a half years and has almost ruined us.
"We are really happy it is over but we are really up and down because it has been so stressful and was so totally unnecessary.
"They started this for nothing and we have had to pay �100,000 in legal costs which we are now trying to get back. We have contacted their lawyers but they still have not got back to us which is really rude."
The couple plan to demonstrate outside the French Embassy on Knightsbridge today and will be starting a campaign to recover their costs.
For the full story read next week's Ham&High.