There are plenty of unusual stories in the world of insurance, but few with almost comical headlines are quite as serious as this.
Insurance brokerage giant Marsh is said to be embroiled in a row with a tech start-up over the use of the word “marshmallow.”
According to a report by City AM, a London-based insurtech start-up is planning to launch its own insurance product – and had chosen the word Marshmallow for its business. The entrepreneurs behind the start-up firm came up with the idea for the business back in 2016 and registered the name – something they claim to have run by lawyers – but then received a notification from the major insurer in regards to trademark infringement.
The publication outlines their case and states that the duo has spent thousands in an effort to defend their name – even trying to settle on three occasions – but no agreement has yet been reached with Marsh.
“It’s the principle,” co-founder Oliver Kent-Braham told the publication. “There is a huge amount of innovation in the UK, and in UK insurance. We believe that this innovation is a good thing for consumers and should be supported by large incumbents.
“Unfortunately, in this instance, a huge global company is using their wealth and resources to stifle it. Marsh and Marshmallow are very different names and we would have been doing ourselves and other start-ups a disservice if we didn’t stand up for ourselves.”
It was reported that the Intellectual Property Office are mediating the matter with a possible conclusion to be reached before the end of the month. Insurance Business has reached out to Marsh for comment.