Fly fishing shop under attack over name

MANY keen fly fishers who have visited New Zealand’s South Island, or even many who haven’t, will have heard of the famous Stu’s Fly Shop. The quaint tackle shop situated in the small town of Athol about an hour from Queenstown, has long been a must-stop for local fly fishers and overseas travellers to stock up on tackle, or gather local fishing info from Scottish born shop owner, innovative fly tier and guide, Stu Tripney.

Tripney’s tackle shop, Stu’s Fly Shop, located smackbang in the middle of some world-class trout fishing country, is now the subject of a battle over a business name.

Despite having been in his business for nine years, Tripney says he’s now under attack from another New Zealand-based tackle shop that has successfully trademark registered the words “fly shop”.

As a result of this bizarre and nonsensical legal action, Tripney says he has received letters, emails and phone calls warning him to cease trading and marketing of his business. This action has understandably left the tackle shop owner under great financial and emotional stress.

As he wrote in an online newsletter, “I feel bullied, threatened and a victim of the big guns and powers to be and also feel a huge mistake has been made.”

“I feel no one should own or be able to own the words ‘fly shop’ or ‘fly fishing shop’, as they are descriptive of thousands of other fly shops in the world,” he said.  

Tripney is now calling for help from the fly fishing public in a bid to have the decision to register “fly shop” as a trademark overturned.

If you’d like to be involved in the Save Stu’s Fly Shop campaign see details on how you can, at the bottom of this newsletter.


See a profile of Stu Tripney’s shop by Fisho’s Scott Thomas here.

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