An award-winning company could be forced out of business – because a travel firm is worried that the public could get confused between handbags and international holidays.
Mia Tui was founded by Middleton woman Charlotte Jamme four years ago. It has won a number of awards, and been praised by David Cameron.
But holiday company TUI AG claim that the two names are too similar, despite Mia Tui registering their logo trademark four years ago. TUI AG have now started a legal battle which could force Charlotte out of business.
She said: “The British public are smart enough to know the difference between a handbag and a holiday. But if TUI AG don’t show some common sense then they will put us out of business.
“They’ve got us both ways. We are only a small company and we can’t afford to re-name and re-brand.
“We need to trademark the text ‘Mia Tui’ in case we ever change our logo. And while we’re growing we can’t afford to spend money on lawyers and legal advice, so that could put us out of business, too.”
Mother-of-two Charlotte founded Mia Tui in 2010, while her family were living in Vietnam for three years.
And while she has no background in design, she was inspired to create her own bag after being inspired by her own travels to and from the UK, and named the firm after the Vietnamese for ‘My bag’.
Charlotte said: “I was flying between Vietnam and the UK but travel bags are usually awful – you can never find anything you’ve put in them.
“I though that I could design one myself, with inner bags for documents,with separate pockets around the inside, an insulated part for drinks, and which were the right size for cabin lockers.
“People loved them, so I decided to start selling them. I went out and found the materials, found a factory which still makes them.
“We now sell all different bags, from gym bags to travel bags to work bags.”
The firm is based in Milton Keynes, although the bags are still made in Vietnam.
And in four years of trading Mia Tui has won numerous awards, including the government’s Open To Export Award for start-up businesses, and receiving a Tweet of congratulations from Prime Minister David Cameron.
TUI AG were not available for comment.
To read more about Mia Tui visit www. miatui.com