Marsh in trademark dispute with InsurTech Marshmallow

Marshmallow

InsurTech start up, Marshmallow, a new kind of insurance company that’s focused on driving innovation in the migrant motor insurance market, today announced its determination to fight broker giant Marsh’s attempts to block the use of its name.

Founded in early 2017, Marshmallow’s mission is to empower people to move and live in a foreign country, by offering them easy access to fairly priced innovative insurance and financial products. Their first offering, motor insurance, is launching in 2018.

In the David v Goliath dispute over the trademark, Marshmallow claim that Marsh has tried to block its use of the word 'Marshmallow', which was the name chosen by founder entrepreneurs and twin brothers Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham for their London-based startup.

Marshmallow has received notification of the trademark infringement claim after they came up with the idea in 2016 and registered the name.

The twins have since spent thousands of pounds defending their name and have tried to settle it, but with no agreement to date.

"It’s the principle," said Oliver Kent-Braham. "There is a huge amount of InsurTech innovation in the UK at the moment. We believe that this is a good thing for consumers and should be supported not stifled by large incumbents like Marsh.

"Unfortunately, in this instance, a huge global company is trying to use their wealth and resources to squash us. Marsh and Marshmallow are very different names, both visually, orally and conceptually, and we would have been doing ourselves and other start-ups a disservice if we didn’t stand up for ourselves."

The Intellectual Property Office is now mediating on the matter and could come to a conclusion as soon as the end of January. If the IPO rules against the brothers, they said they would consider taking the case to court.