Insurtech start-up founder says Marshmallow has had to pay thousands of pounds so far to protect its name against the global broker

Insurtech company Marshmallow has fallen foul of broking giant Marsh over its name.

The start-up, which was founded in early 2017, has today revealed it is determined to fight back against the broker’s attempts to block the use of its name.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has stepped in to overlook the matter, but if they rule in Marsh’s favour then the insurtech could take it to court.

Marshmallow has accused the global broker of stifling innovation in the industry.

“It’s the principle,” said Marshmallow co-founder Oliver Kent-Braham. “There is a huge amount of insurtech innovation in the UK at the moment. We believe that this is a good thing for consumers and should be supported not stifled by large incumbents like Marsh.

“Unfortunately, in this instance, a huge global company is trying to use their wealth and resources to squash us. Marsh and Marshmallow are very different names, both visually, orally and conceptually, and we would have been doing ourselves and other startups a disservice if we didn’t stand up for ourselves.”

The saga began when, according to Marshmallow, it received notification that Marsh had launched a trademark infringement claim after the start-up’s founders chose the name in 2016.

The start-up claims to have run the name choice past lawyers at the time.

Co-founders, twins Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham, say that since then they have had to spend thousands of pound defending their name. They have attempted to settle with Marsh, but with no success, a Marshmallow press release says.

Marsh has declined to comment.