A JUDGE rejected a Barrow Chinese takeaway’s plea that they did not know their name infringed the trademark of a high-end London restaurant.

China Tang in Dalton Road was ordered to change its name in February after becoming embroiled in a legal dispute with a restaurant at The Dorchester.

Solicitors acting on behalf of China Tang at The Dorchester contacted its namesake in Barrow, claiming the takeaway business infringed their registered trademark.

The London restaurant, based on the famous Park Lane, describes itself as home to some of the finest authentic Cantonese food outside China.

The most expensive dish on its menu is a whole suckling pig costing £330.

Meanwhile the average price of a main meal at the Barrow takeaway is just £6.

READ MORE: China Tang renames after legal dispute with Dorchester restaurant

The London restaurant's claim for trademark infringement and passing off partially prevailed in February in a decision by Judge Hacon in the UK Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

Barrow’s China Tang – which is now known as China Town - denied the claim on the basis that there was no evidence of any consumer having confused the two businesses over 12 years of simultaneous trading.

However, the IPEC found that infringement had nonetheless occurred – the mark and the sign were identical (save for the figurative element of the mark), and the respective services were closely similar, which denoted a clear likelihood of confusion.

The Dorchester’s China Tang has been in operation since 2005 while Barrow’s China Tang began trading under the name in 2009.

Judge Hacon accepted that no confusion over the course of 12 years’ simultaneous trading had occurred, and that there was a geographical separation between those who would be aware of the claimants' business and those who would be aware of the defendants', neither of these factors precluded a likelihood of confusion.

However, the close visual similarity between both businesses’ mark and sign as well as between the respective restaurant and takeaway services rendered any potential mitigating factors immaterial.

The judge rejected the defendants' pleading of 'honest concurrent use', given that even a basic online search by the defendants when setting up their business would likely have revealed the claimants’ website or reference to it.

However, The Dorchester’s bid to trademark the name China Tang was unsuccessful as their evidence did not show sufficient knowledge of their business among the relevant public to afford them the requisite status of a trademark.

In February, Honglu Gu, who owns the family run business which has been operating for over 10 years, said he was 'disappointed and upset' by the result.

He said: "It’s such a high-end restaurant that we had no chance in winning our side.

"We have never had any interactions with the business in all of our years of trading.

"When I first named the restaurant ten years ago I never thought we couldn't use that name. We didn’t think of their reputation in regards to our small family-run business.

"I put all my hard work and effort into this business. It's such a shame."

A spokesman for China Town confirmed they officially changed their name two months ago.