Vincents gears up for international roll out

Lancashire’s Vincents Solicitors has been appointed to handle the international intellectual property rights for Ace Cafe London as the brand, loved by motor enthusiasts around the world, expands into new locations.

Located on the North Circular Road, Ace Cafe London has been a favourite with motorcycle and car enthusiasts since it first opened in 1938. The legendary venue is decked out in bike, car and rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia and regularly hosts rallies, meets and events for the “petrol passionate” crowd.

Its popularity sees the cafe welcome visitors from across the globe, and official merchandising tie-ups have already seen the production of Ace-branded clothing, including a limited edition by Paul Smith and the iconic Triumph Ace jackets.

Now the company is welcoming operators seeking to open new cafes under the Ace brand. Venues in Finland, China and Switzerland have already opened their doors while, Germany and the United States are in progress.

Vincents is handling heads of terms and the licencing agreements for each of the new ventures, and will be undertaking enforcement action on behalf of the business for any infringements or illegal use of the brand.

Mark Wilsmore, who revived the venue in the 1990s after the original cafe closed in 1969, said: “There has been a real upsurge of interest in Ace Cafe London in recent years and we’ve been inundated with enquiries from third parties wanting to open in other territories.

“We’re happy to see the concept expand but we have to be very careful about who we work with. Clearly they have to have a passion for the brand and for cars and motorcycles, but they also all need to understand what Ace is about, the ethos of speed. We work hard to ensure that each new venture is based on the core ethos, and that it be accessible to the widest possible patronage.

“And of course they have to have a business plan which stacks up, and be prepared to work within the remit of the intellectual property rights contract. We’re working with Vincents to make sure the contracts cover every aspect of the Ace, its values and concepts, and ensure the integrity of the brand.”

Mark Alexander, head of Vincents Solicitors’ commercial department, said the instruction involves a particularly interesting area of law. He said: “Intellectual property rights is a niche specialism which requires a careful balance between the licensor’s ownership rights and financial return, and the licensee’s ability to operate and to make a profit. “The Ace Cafe London brand really resonates with people. Bikes and cars are exciting and a lot of people want to be a part of that. It’s our job to make sure that the terms are tight enough for the licensor to keep control of the brand and earn royalties, while also allowing the licensee the freedom to adapt it to their market and create a successful business which, ultimately, contributes to Ace Cafe London becoming a truly global brand.”