The end of the agreement with the British Columbia

In April 1935, the executives in charge of the San Sebastian-based Columbia company contacted Mr. Eduardo Vega de Seoane y Echeverria to seek legal advice regarding their contract with Columbia in London. The company indicated that the existing contract had come to an end (1), and they were attempting to renew it, though their optimism was limited due to what they considered “excessive demands from the English company.” As per the agreement signed in 1923, the initial contract had concluded on January 17th, 1933, marking ten years since its inception. This contract had included the right to renew it under the same terms and conditions for an additional ten years, provided that a written notice of renewal was sent to Columbia in London six months prior to the contract’s expiration. Apparently, this renewal notice had never been issued, and the attempt to negotiate a new agreement had been unsuccessful.

The San Sebastian company also sought clarification on clause 33 of their agreement with British Columbia. This clause pertained to the use of the trade name and trademarks, specifying that the company in San Sebastian would be prohibited from using these names once the contract terminated. In response to this query, the lawyer was unequivocal, stating that all the trademarks and trade names purchased from Don Álvaro Malibrán y Escassi, the owner of these marks in Spain, should be exempt from the restriction stipulated in the agreement. The lawyer emphasized that even after the contract with the English company concluded, the Spanish company had the right to use the trade name and trademarks that they had acquired from Mr. Malibrán and had registered under their own name, using their own funds.

Logo de Regal San Sebastián (1924)

Subsequently, on September 27th, 1935, Mr. Alejandro Burbano, acting as the attorney for the “Columbia Graphophone Company Ltd. in London, submitted a request to the liquidators of the “Columbia Graphophone Company, SAE.” These liquidators were Mr. Gregorio González de Suso, Mr. Francisco Ordinas, and Mr. Fermín Vega de Seoane. The purpose of this request was to obtain explanations regarding the sale of the matrices of their records through an attorney auction. The London-based company believed that some of these matrices might belong to them.

Logo Regal San Sebastián (1930)

The London company requested the delivery of the matrices and prohibited the use of any records created from molds supplied by them. This prohibition also extended to the use of the name, which was the trade name of the “Columbia Graphophone Company,” and various trademarks, including Regal. Additionally, they raised concerns about outstanding bills.

On June 16th, 1935, an extraordinary general meeting was convened, during which the dissolution of the company was resolved. The board appointed liquidators, including Mr. Gregorio González de Suso, Mr. Francisco Ordinas, who was a partner of Antonio Inurrieta in the ice business, and Mr. Fermín Vega de Seoane. The dissolution agreement was formally registered in October 1935. During the same year, the Inurrieta brothers became embroiled in a controversy that was reported by the San Sebastián newspaper El Día. (2) The controversy arose from complaints regarding a series of irregularities discovered after the completion of the Antiguo district’s expansion, particularly in connection with the consumption of water at Antonio’s ice factory. These irregularities also had implications for Juan’s adjacent record factory. The complaint against Antonio Inurrieta, who was serving as a city councilor at the time, pertained to an alleged fraudulent use of municipal drinking water to supply both his ice factory and the record factory, where he also held a significant number of shares.


(1) Nevertheless, the company in San Sebastian continued to publish monthly supplements of the Regal label, at least until May 1935.
(2) The issue was addressed in various publications throughout 1935, with the ones specifically related to the record factory being highlighted in the editions dated on October 6 and December 10, 1935.