Friday, February 22, 2013

St Andrews - Your Final Bid Is?

The couple of you who read this blog can often be forgiven for thinking that we only tilt at the windmilll of VisitScotland but that's really not true. We're really just pretty much anti-establishment full stop!!

So here's Friday's rant... and the target is the much loved custodians of the Links golf courses in St Andrews known as the Links Trust St Andrews.

There are many in the golf industry who think that their management of prime times at Scotland's golfing jewel has been less than fair and open and indeed detrimental to the local and national economy but it's not the selling of extortionately priced Old Course tee times through exclusive distributors that we're hitting on today.

We've been sent an email linking to te publication of the following trademark request.

Yes that's right. St. Andrews Links Ltd have applied to trademark the name of ST ANDREWS and you can view the full application here

Now if I was a business in St Andrews, or the council, or involved in golf, or tourism or lived in Scotland or ever had a sniff of whisky I would be looking at this link with incredulity and asking how can anyone take intellectual property rights and trademark over the name of our bloody patron saint!!!

They have applied to trademark the name across almost every imagineable activity!! Here's the list of areas they wish to protect for their own use:

Prerecorded CDs, CD-ROMs relating to golf; computer games software; computer and video game cartridges; computer game software for hand-held units for playing video games; video tapes, laser discs and DVDs featuring golfing activities, the sport of golf and the history of golf. Jewellery; watches; cases for watches.Class Publications, namely, books and magazines relating to golf and sport; calendars; photographs, mounted and unmounted; stationery; printed score cards; printed instructional and teaching material on the subject of golf; printed golf course guides, posters; maps; prints; pictorial prints; photographic prints. Golf umbrellas; luggage. Drinking glasses; decanters; coasters not of paper.Golf towels. Golf balls; golf clubs; divot repair tools; head covers for golf clubs; golf bags. Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.Arranging and conducting tours and trips; Arranging, organizing, and conducting tours and trips in the field of golf. Hotel and restaurant reservation services; Hotel, restaurant and bar services; Hotels; Resort hotels; Resort lodging service. Health spa services for health and wellness of the body and spirit offered at a health resort; Health spa services, namely, cosmetic body care services.


Now once again, just so we're clear they wish to TRADEMARK the name St Andrews!

Dare I be so bold to suggest St Andrews Links Trust that you should have NO CHANCE. 

To those of us unsure of copyrights issues and trademark law it just seems completely Unbloodylievable and stinks of complete and utter organisational arrogance.

So what should you do? Well we could publish the email address of the Links Trust and it would probably take down their servers so we wont! 

In our humble opinion St Andrews Links Ltd should just do the decentt thing and withdraw their application but I guess that is not likely. So here's how it goes and the rules of engagement set out on the IPO website where the application has been published and if anyone wishes to oppose it please get in touch.

Opposition Proceedings

What is opposition? 

When a trade mark application has successfully completed the examination process it is accepted and published in the on-line Trade Marks Journal. It is then open to any third party (an opponent) to oppose its registration on either absolute and/or relative grounds. It is possible to oppose the entire application or the registration of the mark for only some of the goods and services.

What are absolute grounds?

The absolute grounds cover defects in the trade mark itself. The most common reasons for opposing a trade mark application is that the trade mark is descriptive of the goods and/or services for which it is to be registered, or that it is generic for those goods/services, or otherwise non-distinctive and should therefore be free for everyone in that line of trade to use.

What are relative grounds?

Relative grounds means that there exists an earlier trade mark or earlier right (which does not have to be registered) owned by the opponent with which the applicant‟s trade mark would conflict if it were used. Who can oppose a trade mark application?

Anyone can oppose the application on absolute grounds but only the proprietor of an earlier trade mark or earlier right may oppose on relative grounds. 

When can opposition be filed? 

There is an initial two month opposition period beginning with the date of the publication of the trade mark in the Trade Marks Journal.

How can I oppose a trade mark application and what does it cost? 

If you want to oppose the registration of a trade mark then you must file a TM7
Notice of opposition and statement of grounds' accompanied by a £200 fee.
Guidance notes on how to fill in the form are available from the web site at:

In our opinion it would

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bookassist Upgrade

Really good article published in a hospitality magazine about the recent major upgrades to the Bookassist Booking engine.

It follows on from winning the Best Booking Engine at the World Travel Awards in December 2012 and highlights again Bookassist's commitment to innovation.

Bookassist will be showcased at a number of forthcoming events in Scotland over the next weeks so get in touch and we'll let you know where these are taking place.

The company are also unveiling their integrated Distribution Manager solution at ITB in March

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Prestwick golf club PGA Professional wins Top Pro shop National Award.

David Fleming, PGA Professional at Prestwick Golf Club - birthplace of the Open Championship - was presented with the Pro Shop of the Year award by Europe’s leading golf retail services group, the TGI Golf Partnership at its Gala Awards Ceremony in Manchester.

We're delighted to have been working with David and his team over the years on a number of projects and we have just embarked on the redesigning of his online retail store which we are sure will help him to further awards in the future!

David saw off competition from TGI Golf’s 450-plus PGA Professionals from across the continent to scoop the award, finishing ahead of fellow nominees John Heggarty, Head Professional at Royal Liverpool, host of the 2014 Open, and Martin Balfour, from Newbury & Crookham Golf Club.

Held at the four-star Marriott Worsley Park Hotel in Manchester, on February 4, the TGI Golf Partnership Awards Dinner was attended by some of the biggest names in the golf industry, including PGA Chief Executive Sandy Jones.

David’s ‘Pro Shop of the Year’ award was graded on top class shop presentation, excellent customer service, choice of quality products available and attention to detail.

“It’s an honour to receive this prestigious award and fantastic to receive national recognition for what we do,” said David. “This provides us with a benchmark for keeping the standard high going forward. A special thanks to my PGA qualified senior Assistant Nicky Sinclair and PGA trainee assistant Allan Todd for their hard work and dedication in my business”

Eddie Reid, Managing Director of The TGI Golf Partnership, added: “David thoroughly deserves this award for the hard-work and dedication he has shown to ensuring his Pro Shop at Prestwick Golf Club is one of the best in the area.

“Along with his team at the club he has ensured golf club members and visitors have a beautifully laid out shop where they can find the latest products from golf’s top suppliers, as well as knowledgeable and friendly staff to help with any enquiries.”

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bookassist Talks 'Redistribution' at ITB Berlin

The World's Leading Booking Technology Provider, Bookassist, will have a major new product launch at the ITB travel fair in Berlin on March 6th next.

"2013 is a turning point for Bookassist", according to CEO Dr Des O'Mahony. "We started the year as a world leader in booking technology, and now we are building on that with the launch of our new Bookassist Distribution Manager at ITB, a major new platform for the company to build on for the future".

Intelligent and dynamic redistribution is the key

ITB sees the first public outing of the new Bookassist Distribution Manager. Built from the ground up by Bookassist, the technology will go far beyond basic channel management. The system has been in beta testing with a number of hotels in different European markets in recent months.

"Channel managers are popular and useful tools, but their aim is a relatively blunt one. They help the hotel sell anywhere online. Basically, they are agnostic - they don't care where the hotel sells", explains O'Mahony.

"Bookassist Distribution Manager will actively and intelligently help the hotel to get the best margin on what it sells and where, not just distributing to online sales channels and the hotel's website but actively redistributing from one channel to another when demand is recognised, constantly favouring the sale point with the best margin for the hotel. Active redistribution is a concept that Bookassist is introducing to the channel manager space with this platform. And we have a very exciting roadmap for where this platform will go through 2013 and beyond".

Bookassist's long background in direct sale strategy on hotel websites is a distinct advantage in the dynamic redistribution game. The company has continually worked with hotels to favour the direct web channel as the channel of highest margin, while taking advantage of exposure and distribution on third party channels where it is beneficial to do so. Hotels are well aware that Bookassist's approach is to favour the hotel's direct channel over other more costly distribution. This software puts that strategy directly into practice with real benefits to margin.

Bookassist is exhibiting at Hall 8.1 / Stand 108 at Berlin's Messe. To arrange contact with the team, please email

About Bookassist 

Bookassist ( creates and manages consistently successful online strategies for hotels and develops world-class booking and distribution software to ensure hotels drive more direct bookings and increase direct revenue. Bookassist is the industry-leading booking engine and online marketing provider for hotels in Europe with thousands of hotels using Bookassist services.

Bookassist in Scotland is overseen by partners Plan B - if you are interested in finding out more contact the team by email or call 01292 521404