After ‘cordial and constructive’ negotiations, Hilltrek is able to continue using the word ‘Glencoe’ in their products

On 7 August 2017, The Great Outdoors reported that lawyers acting on behalf of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) had contacted Scottish gear brand Hilltrek, manufacturer of the long-established Glencoe jacket, to demand that they cease using the word ‘Glencoe’ in their range. The move was widely condemned as being heavy handed. The jacket in question, a double-layered Ventile waterproof, has been manufactured by Hilltrek for 30 years.

Dave Shand, owner of the business, said, “I was shocked that they could trademark the name Glencoe and shocked at their heavy-handed approach.”

When we contacted the NTS for a response, they admitted that “although the letter sent to Hilltrek was a standard one, it may have been in the circumstances of this particular company too harsh in tone.”

Agreement reached

After meetings described as ‘cordial and constructive’ between Mark Bishop, the Trust’s Director of Customer & Cause, and Mr Shand, Hilltrek’s Director, the two organisations have now come to an agreement.

Mark Bishop said, “When we first took action to protect our properties and the Trust through the application of trademarks, our intention was always to ensure that this protection also sheltered local businesses and communities from exploitative or inappropriate use of the names in question. We were always clear that we did not see the trademarks having any effect whatsoever on established businesses with local products.

“On this occasion, we got it wrong. If we had done our homework on Hilltrek before our lawyers contacted them, it would have been clear that this was a Scottish company which has been manufacturing this product with this name for a number of years. Our first response would then have been to come to a mutual agreement over the issue, which is what we have now achieved.

“I am pleased to say that there will be no restriction on Hilltrek continuing to use Glencoe as before as the name of this product line. There is much we have in common as we both appeal to people who love Scotland’s magnificent wild lands and this is something we want to focus on together.”

Dave Shand said: “I am delighted that we were able to come to an agreement so quickly and that Hilltrek will continue to sell our high-quality Glencoe jackets.

“As I have said before, the National Trust for Scotland does a lot of good work protecting and caring for the places our customers enjoy. I urge people to go on supporting the charity and the work they do.”