Ramsay Hands U.K. Spotted Pig Trademark to U.S. Owners

Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Ltd. has obtained the U.K. trademark for “The Spotted Pig” and immediately handed it over to owners to the New York restaurant and bar of the same name.

“We have been liaising with The Spotted Pig in New York for some months, and had arranged for the trademark to be passed to them once it was registered,” according to an e-mailed statement from Gordon Ramsay Holdings today. “This has now happened.”

The New York venue is owned by chefs Mario Batali and April Bloomfield and a group including restaurateur Ken Friedman. It also attracted attention because of investments from celebrities such as Bono and Jay-Z.

Ramsay’s application for the U.K. trademark caused controversy after it was reported by Bloomberg News on Nov. 20 last year.

One party expressed an intention to oppose the application, and the opposition period has now expired, the Intellectual Property Office said in an e-mailed response to a query by Bloomberg News. The office does not identify objectors. The right to use the name lasts for 10 years.

Anthony Bourdain and Jamie Oliver were among chefs who criticized the application. Bourdain said the attempt to use the name was shameful.

“Gordon Ramsay registers name ‘Spotted Pig’ in England?” Bourdain said in a message posted on Twitter on Nov. 20, according to Eater.com.

Oliver responded: “April & Ken have built something very special & one day I hope they will bring it to London. We like originals,” the Daily Mail reported.

The Intellectual Property Office website shows one other trademark application by the Gordon Ramsay Holdings since 2008. That is for the name Cafe Nick.

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)