Similarly named barber shops should be able to co-exist, minister says

A Nova Scotia cabinet minister is lending support to a local barber locked in a dispute with a national chain over the name of his shop.

The owner of Tommy's Barber Shop in north-end Dartmouth says the Tommy Gun's Original Barbershop chain sent him a letter this month alleging trademark infringement.

But Service Nova Scotia Minister Geoff MacLellan says he doesn't see how the name of a small barber shop confuses customers or depreciates the national chain's brand.

Barber Thong Luong told the CBC his shop has been called Tommy's Barber Shop since 2003.

MacLellan says there are no issues as far as the province is concerned, Tommy's Barber Shop is registered with Nova Scotia's Registry of Joint Stocks.

The minister says he understands the "reputable" national chain, which has two shops in the Halifax area, might feel it needs to keep its brand equity strong.

But MacLellan says he thinks there is room for both businesses, and he hopes they can work things out without "any catastrophic impact on either side."