Wot No Minky Fabric?

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**UPDATE**  If you have found this post and are looking for “Minky” the ironing board cover people, or are in search of their cleaning products , then please let me help you by redirecting you to their site here.  If however you were all good for cleaning products this week and were instead looking for some soft and luscious cuddle fabric that some people around the world still call “minky fabric” then please return to our website and search for “Cuddle” or “Plush” to find it.  It’s still the same fabric, what’s in a name, hey?! 

Recently we changed the name of one of our lines of fabric, renaming “Minky” to “Plush Cuddle”. Not a change we made by choice, it does have to be said. I thought I’d give you a short bite of back story to fill in the gaps as we are often asked where our minky fabric has gone! We were contacted by a UK company who own the trademark for the word “Minky” who (not so) politely informed us we were in breach of trademark by describing that lovely, soft, fluffy luscious fabric as minky and told us we needed to cease and desist.

The long and the short of it is after a fair bit of  waving our hands in the air to the chorus of “but minky *IS* minky” a fair few written exchanges followed, a consult with a trademark lawyer for us and we came to the conclusion that we were fighting a losing battle trying to hang on to using the word, so we changed it to Plush Cuddle on our website. Not so bad I suppose, it fits in really well with our name!

So that’s where “minky fabric” went…. the rest of the world can still enjoy using the name with affection, it’s just us in the UK that needed to change.

14 thoughts on “Wot No Minky Fabric?”

  1. I take it the other Minky suppliers are going to have to change the name of this product as well? Ludicrous. Minky is minky worldwide.

  2. It would be helpful to have links to the cuddlesoft / snuggle fabrics in this bit, as that’s what I’m trying to find when typing in minky!

  3. And I was pretty certain that the name trademark thing only applied if there was a chance that one product could be considered to be made by/associated with the other by mistake. So, calling the fabric “minky” could lead someone to believe that it was made by the other company that makes, what, cleaning procucts? Ironing boards? Oh, yes, such an easy mistake to make. Just on the first page of a search for “minky” I found a children’s party organiser and a film production company with the same name.

    I serious despise companies that use trademark law improperly. Pity I’d already bought one of their very very expensive ironing boards last year (because it has the lowest height setting and folds up very small).

  4. Don’t touch my hoover (it’s actually a vax), get off my Zimmer frame (it’s a walking frame) any one for a Jacuzzi (it’s a jet tub), It should be accepted as a compliment when a brand name becomes so famous it is used in place of the actual name of the item. But, i guess the company thinks that people will only buy minky from them because of the brand name when actually, as long as it does the same thing people will get it from the best value supplier x

  5. Interested to read this thread and to hear that you were advised by your TM agents that there was nothing you could do about it. Minky (Vale Mill), from my understanding are a cleaning company, they do not produce or sell fabric and in particular have not coined the term ‘minky’ in relation to fabric. From my online research ‘minky fabric’ is a generic term for a type of plush fabric, in other words it is descriptive of the type of fabric. It is not, as I understand it, a fabric that is produced and sold by one firm (and particularly not Vale Mill) but is a generic term in the same way that you can buy velour, chenille etc. It is not a trade mark infringement to use a descriptive term in relation to the goods of concern. Vale Mill’s TM registration could potentially be partially cancelled in relation to plush fabric and will also soon be vulnerable to (partial) non-use cancellation (after it has been registered for more that 5 years).

    1. Hi Louisa, thanks for your comment, we thought it was completely unfair and ridiculous at the time this was a hot topic. I’m afraid we did not/ do not have the budget or the knowledge to challenge this and never felt a match to Vale Mill’s rather feisty and intimidating lawyer!

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