Amazon sends legal warning to new homeless charity shop over its ‘smile logo’

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A small homeless charity shop in Worcestershire has been treated with legal action from the online shopping giant, Amazon, over its "smile logo".

Amaze charity shop is due to open in Malvern on Saturday, April 24 but has received a 35-page letter from lawyers expressing their concerns that "its use of Amazon's trademarks" that will "confuse consumers" and must be changed.

Having previously been homeless themselves, owners Chris Lee and Polly Reehal have endured months of gruelling work and plenty of setbacks due to the Covid pandemic, Birmingham Live reports.

The pair were looking forward to their grand opening this weekend – before Amazon contacted them at the eleventh hour.

"We have been working so hard for months collecting donations from some amazingly generous people and now, days before we are due to open the shop Amazon, is trying to stop us," said Polly, who is now living in Worcester.

"The richest man in the world has instructed his lawyers to stop us smiling just days before we open on Saturday – it’s beyond belief!"

When BirminghamLive contacted Amazon's lawyers Morgan Lewis, we were told there were not able to discuss or comment on any legal matters regarding Amazon.

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In their letter to Mr Lee, the lawyers said that Amazon was concerned that his use of Amazon’s trademarks, in particular, the use of the "smile logo", would confuse consumers into believing it was connected with or endorsed by Amazon when this is not the case.

The letter asked Mr Lee to adopt a new logo that does not include the smile logo and is not in any other way similar to Amazon’s trademarks, adding that Amazon has no objection to the use of the name Amaze.

Amazon has pledged to contact Mr Lee with a view to making a donation and/or discussing how it could help further but added that no statement could be provided due to the legalities of the trademark matter.

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