London Eye bosses warn Barry Island Pleasure Park not to use the name Barry Eye

Local South-Wales attraction threatened with legal action over unofficial nickname, Barry Eye.

Barry Island Pleasure Park, located on the South Wales coast, is a much loved attraction amongst both the locals and the visitors. One of the newest additions to the area’s recently refurbished park is the ferris wheel, which has quickly become known in South Wales as the Barry Eye.

Merlin Entertainments Group, owners of the London Eye, have now issued a warning to the Welsh park owners. They claim that the nickname Barry Eye infringes their registered trade mark over the London Eye and have requested it not to be used. Merlin argues that Barry Eye implies that the ride is connected with London Eye, and that this provides an added benefit to the Barry attraction as a result.

Aside from the London Eye, Merlin operates a number of other major attractions in the UK, including Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds, Legoland and Blackpool Tower Eye. Owners of the Barry park, the Danter family, stated that they were ‘surprised’ with the letter. The difference between the two rides in terms of their size, prices and popularity is rather significant. The London Eye ride costs over £20, in comparison to the Barry-based ride which costs £3.

The devil, however, is in the ‘Eye’. The Danters did not advertise or promote their ride as Barry Eye – it is an unofficial nickname adopted by Barry locals and subsequently used in several media articles. The official website of the Barry Island Pleasure Park refers to it as ‘The Giant Ferris Wheel’. Not the Barry Eye. Had the Danters officially named their attraction Barry Eye, Merlin would potentially have a valid argument and they could legitimately ask them not to use that name.

However, it is not possible to stop the public from using an unofficial nickname. In this case, the owners of the Barry ride have done nothing wrong.

The Danter family is looking to give a new name to the ride, with a Welsh twist to it. In the meantime, Merlin’s actions are likely to result in further publicity for the Barry Island Pleasure Park’s attractions.