Similarity in names could lead to consumer confuson, says cycling clothing firm

Assos has reportedly won a legal battle to prevent the UK-based online retailer ASOS from selling products under that name in the upmarket cycle clothing company's home country of Switzerland – a home win for bib shorts V the little black dress.

According to the website This Is Money, Assos persuaded regulators at the European Union’s Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) that consumers could become confused due to the similarity between the two brand names.

That’s despite the fact that you’re unlikely to find a model wearing nothing but a pair of bib shorts on the ASOS website, while Assos is unlikely to be a first port of call for any woman looking for an evening dress to wear to the UCI’s Christmas bash.

Switzerland is not a member state of the European Union, but trademarks granted to businesses within the country are covered by OHIM. This Is Money reports that ASOS is planning to appeal the ruling, which was made last November.

ASOS, which is also fighting a separate action brought by German men’s clothing firm Anson, has been one of the star performers of the UK stockmarket in recent years, with its share price trebling in the last year alone.

Yet in late 2005 the company, whose name stands for ‘As Seen On Screen’ – initially, it helped fashionistas put together the look worn by stars pictured in glossy mags as they took to the red carpet for a fraction of the cost – was faced with disaster when its warehouse was destroyed following the fire at the neighbouring Buncefield fuel depot.


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.