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Online retailer So Organic in battle with Sainsbury's over brand name

LONDON - The founder of online retailer So Organic has accused Sainsbury's of stealing her trademark and is asking the supermarket giant to stop using the name for its own-brand organic range.

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Samantha Burlton started her battle with Sainsbury's after the retailer rebranded its own organic range under the So Organic name, but the supermarket's trading director has refused to stop using the name.

Burlton said: "I wrote to Sainsbury's and said that we were very concerned that there would be confusion, but they said they believed there couldn't be any confusion."

Burlton said her online retailing operation was getting calls from customers confused about the situation.

"I have built up a reputation and am trying to keep the company running and not let the situation hurt us any more than it is doing already. But it is very frustrating and it is very risky for a company our size to go up against someone of their size," she added.

So Organic, which was launched early last year, sells natural and organic non-food items, including cosmetics, clothing and household cleaning products without chemicals.

Sainsbury's said: "We do not believe there is an overlap in trading names with Ms Burlton's company.

"We brand our products clearly as Sainsbury's So Organic. We trade in-store and sell food and drink, Ms Burlton trades online and sells health and beauty goods, as well as household cleaning products."

Over the past few years Sainsbury has taken action against a number of small businesses over trademark infringement.

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