A firm which makes quirky clothing for ferrets has incurred the wrath of fashion giant Burberry after launching a check ensemble to give the creatures an "out of town" look.
Staff at Ferretworld in Dudley, which also offers ferret-sized tuxedos, Santa suits, rain Macs and combat gear, say they were stunned to receive a letter threatening legal action and claiming a breach of Burberry's intellectual property rights.
Ferretworld director Simon Bishop accused Burberry of using "weasel words" in alleging that his #6.99 ferret cap and cape represented a breach of trademark.
Mr Bishop, who trades from modest premises with just one other full-time member of staff and two part-time employees, said: "This situation is absolutely crazy, especially as the pattern we have used has different colours to Burberry's.
"They have come down very, very hard on us ? they have said if we don?t stop making them they are going to take us to court."
Burberry, which equipped polar explorers Amundsen and Shackleton and has its HQ in London's Haymarket, has also required Mr Bishop to send it a sample of the material used in the outfits, which he bought from Birmingham's rag market.
Mr Bishop added: "Burberry really ought to get a life. I have apologised for using their name on our website and removed it.
"I explained that I thought the tartan was a generic one, but that wasn't good enough.
"They are using weasel words and we are now going to seek legal advice."
Describing the threat of legal action as ridiculous, Mr Bishop continued: "We only make things for ferrets and I doubt very much whether the British public would confuse our items with Burberry.
"I wouldn't have thought we were much of a threat to a firm like Burberry - unless they want to start making things for ferrets."
A spokesman for Burberry, which was founded in Basingstoke, Hants in 1856, refused to enter into the row, saying only: "It's not something we will be making any comment on."