KF Seetoh — local food icon and very good friend of Anthony Bourdain (rest in power) — has politely issued a warning to an international school in Singapore for using a trademarked name that he came up with for his own company.
Seetoh is, of course, the highly revered founder of local hawker food bible Makansutra, which is also the name of the food consultancy company he established in 1997. The success of his guidebooks and television series led him to launch the Makansutra Glutton’s Bay food court at the Esplanade as well as the Makansutra Asian Food Village in Manila.
Dulwich College is a British educational institution founded in 1619 and opened a Singaporean campus in Bukit Batok back in 2014. The international school is pretty massive, and according to its website, has three libraries, three theatres, three swimming pools, a sports field, and multiple roof-top gardens, gyms, dining rooms and coffee shops.
Apparently, the campus now even has a stall called Makansutra. And since Seetoh had nothing to do with the enterprise, he is not happy.
“Gosh, hope all is fine and I know you teach your students imitation is the best form of flattery. But… passing-off and brand theft is an offense la,” he wrote on Facebook in his typically sardonic manner.
Taking issue with how the stall operator took up the registered name of his business, Seetoh advised the college to get their vendor to change the name so that there won’t be any flouting of intellectual property laws. A week’s grace was given for them to do so, with Seetoh implying that legal action could be taken. All in all, a rather cordial cease-and-desist notice.
Some of Seetoh’s fans have already tried writing on Dulwich College’s Facebook page about the issue, but according to them, the comments were deleted. We’ve since contacted the college for their comments on the matter and will update the story once we hear back.