30/06/2014 - 10:01

Cafe Del Mar faces Spanish inquisition

30/06/2014 - 10:01

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The Spain-based founders of Cafe del Mar say they are the only entity authorised to use the trademark worldwide, despite a venue opening in Sydney last year and plans advancing for an expansion to Western Australia.

Cafe Del Mar faces Spanish inquisition
The original Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza, Spain.

The Spain-based founders of Cafe del Mar say they are the only entity authorised to use the trademark worldwide, despite a venue opening in Sydney last year and plans advancing for an expansion to Western Australia.

Business News reported last week that a trademark stoush between one of the shareholders and the managing director of Cafe Del Mar Australia would not derail plans to open a WA venue.

Cafe Del Mar Australia managing director John Zappia said he was keen to open two or three WA venues, in the form of a nightclub-style venue and a beachside restaurant, to complement the Sydney eatery that opened in October last year.

At the same time, shareholder Michael Vale said he and his business partner held the majority of the shares in Cafe Del Mar Australia and, as such, held the rights to the brand.

Mr Vale is advancing plans to open a $5 million Cafe Del Mar venue in Melbourne next year, and said he was also keen on WA.

But a spokesperson for Cafe Del Mar's Ibiza-based three co-founders and co-owners – Carlos Andrea, Pepe Les and Ramon Broto – told Business News no business operation had yet been given its authorisation in Australia.

“Mr Vale kept in contact with our organisation in order to check the possibility to regularise his position in respect of the use of the Café del Mar brand in Australia in the future, indicating that he and his organisation signed an option agreement for the use of the brand in 2007,” the spokesperson said.

“These discussions, which also concern several legal aspects, are still ongoing and we will soon inform the public as to the outcome.”

Mr Zappia provided documentation to Business News, signed by Mr Broto, which indicated he was the sole holder of the trademark in Australia, and Mr Vale had no rights to the brand.

But the Spanish group claims Mr Zappia needed the authorisation of the majority of the owners of the brand to open in Sydney or expand to WA.

“Mr Zappia is aware that, missing the consent of the majority and co-founders and owners of the brand, he and his organisation are simply overriding Café Del Mar’s rights in detriment of the rights of its real owners,” the spokesperson said. 

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