Seventies squatters republic wins flower battle with Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston has withdrawn a controversial plan to trade mark the name of a 1970’s squat for a range of flowery bags, clothes and umbrellas.The company sparked outrage from the founders of ‘Frestonia’ who claimed it had no right to try to own the name of the commune set up in North Kensington, West London, in 1977.The Telegraph revealed how artists, writers, musicians and the comedian Alexei Sayle who either lived or performed at the squat had condemned the home furnishing company for trying to “commercialise” the name.Cath Kidston, created in 1993 by the English fashion designer Catherine Kidston, moved its headquarters to Freston Road in 2010. It is now owned by Baring Private Equity Asia, an investment company based in Hong Kong.A Cath Kidston spokesperson last night said it had dropped the application because it “recognised the importance of being a good neighbour” to the West London community where its headquarters are based.“After taking on board the views of local people, we decided to withdraw our application to trademark the name Frestonia.“The name was inspired by Freston Road, where our head office is based, and was never intended to cause offence.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more