SADLY, THIS WEBSITE IS NOW CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO AN IP RIGHTS CONFLICT ARISING FROM THE ACTIONS OF VARIOUS PARTIES IN THE HISTORIC RACING AND AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRIES WHO, SINCE THE SUCCESS OF THIS WEBSITE IN RAISING W&P'S PROFILE, HAVE STARTED NEW BUSINESSES USING "WILLIAMS & PRITCHARD" IN THEIR NAME.
There are at least 3 parties who in August 2011 all claim to have the rights to the "Williams & Pritchard" brand, some of whom are now starting to trade under it.
Peter Schomer has registered a company using the Williams & Pritchard name; is using a logo based on the original company coachwork plate in connection with trading; and has separately registered the W&P logo shown above on this website as a registered trade mark.
Julius Thurgood has separately registered several other companies incorporating the Williams & Pritchard name and has registered a trade mark based on the original company coachwork plate. Motobuild Ltd (who also trade under the name Ashley GT) are now publicising that they have an exclusive licence to use the W&P brand.
The estate of Len Pritchard are claiming ownership of the copyright in the W&P logo and in the coachwork plate design under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 until 2078, which they have not licensed to any third party businesses, suggesting new registered and unregistered trademarks that copy or are based on the original logo design are vulnerable to challenge and are likely to infringe the estate's claimed copyright.
We also understand that the estate of Len Pritchard could claim the option to assert ownership of all "legacy goodwill" in the brand under the legal principle in the case of Peter Maslyukov -v- Diageo Distilling Ltd and another  EWHC 443 (Ch), particularly given the ongoing close association of the W&P name to Len in historic Lotus and other circles and Len's continued use of the brand in connection with historic racing cars throughout the 80s, 90s and 00s - in particular his well-documented distibution of original sixties W&P coachworks plates and logo stickers to owners of cars with authenticated genuine W&P bodywork, right up until his death in 2008, which had been continued by the W&P Register under the estate's supervision since then.
We have also been approached by other parties exploring the possibility of trading off the historic W&P brand.
I have been advised that nobody in the Pritchard family or in the Williams family has given any permission nor licensed any use of any brands nor any legacy goodwill to any current or future business.
I do not want any business to be tempted to link this website as part of their promotional activity, as to misrepresent any connections or to freely trade off the back of the substantial work that has gone into this site, and of all the generous contributors who have given their materials on a not-for-profit basis, would be wrong.
Any attempt to do so or to lift material from this website to use in promoting any business would amount to copyright infringement, and anyone doing so (for example from cached versions of the site) will face vigorous civil enforcement action by me to protect my copyright where I consider it appropriate (I am an IP lawyer) and, where applicable, face potential referral to trading standards and/or the police for offences under Sec 107 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and in relation to any criminal and/or trading offences connected with deception and misrepresentation, for example should any person purport to run a "continuation" business to the work of Charlie Williams and Len Pritchard where this is not actually the case.
I have even been approached by a party who has asked to buy this website as a promotional tool for their new business venture, which is firmly declined. This website has always been not-for-profit and reliant on the goodwill of enthusiasts, car owners, and most of the original material has been provided by the estate of Len Pritchard on a strictly not-for-profit basis, so it is not available for commercialisation.
Material has also recently been lifted by several other parties from this website in breach of copyright for commercial use.
In view of the all of the above, and the conflicting issues between the various parties, until all such matters have been resolved, I have deemed it wise to close the Register. This is in order to avoid the risk of becoming "piggy in the middle" and to legally protect myself and the many contributors of copyright content licensed on a not-for-profit basis.
Please note that I am not making any value judgement on the above activities, I am merely setting out the facts that result in the need for such steps.
These issues have been brewing for a while and are the main, previously undisclosed, reason that the site has remained static for the last 12 months.
To all fans and enthusiasts I can only apologise for having to take such drastic steps. I have retained a full copy of the site in the hope that one day full service can be resumed for the enthusiasts, with the full site live again and with a lot of additional material being made fully available to the public for free, including a memorial page for Charlie Williams whose contribution to W&P's success was not previously sufficiently covered on the site.
Tim Saunders, Registrar