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Intellectual property: Primark bosses take legal action after 'fake' store opens in Dubai

Bosses at the high-street discount clothing store, Primark, have announced that they are to take legal action against an Iranian clothes store which has just opened on one of the main shopping streets in Dubai.

The store boldly displays the Primark logo, in the same Primark blue, and opened without any permission from the international clothing brand.

The Iranian businessman behind the store is Yaqoub Hatami. He and four partners opened the store, claiming that they have never heard of Primark, and that the matching logo and livery was pure coincidence.

Now they have been alerted to the major UK brand, they claim to want to form a partnership, to make "Primark the most famous brand in the Middle East".

Arabian customers are unfamiliar with the brand and therefore the opening largely went unnoticed by the shopping public in Dubai. However, the brand is well known by the thousands of British ex-pats living out there, and many claim that the clothing sold inside bears no resemblance to that available in UK Primark outlets.

A spokesman for Primark in the UK said: "This is not a legitimate store and the company is considering its legal options."

Under UAE law the firm could be fined just under £1,680 for breaching Primark's international trademark. However, the firm would also face the costs of closure and rebranding which could potentially be more expensive.

Faced with the threat of legal action, Mr Hatami said: "We are talking to them now. We want to be their franchise partner here in Dubai; we can make Primark famous in the Middle East."

This is the second such case involving Primark in recent months. In March they took a Norwegian childrens' clothing store to court for using their branding.

Primark currently operates some 236 stores across the UK, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Portugal.

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Read more on the story (Financial Times - free signup)

What is a trademark? (FindLaw)