It has emerged that the long-delayed broadband TV service backed by Lord Sugar has lost its battle over the right to use ‘YouView’ as their trade mark.
The case has centres around two key issues, the similarity between ‘telecommunications services’ and ‘apparatus for television and radio reception’ and it was held that there was a high degree of complementarity between these services. Overall the court found a high degree of similarity between the goods and services of YouView TV Ltd’s trade mark application and Total’s registration.
According to the judgement delivered on November 1st, the marks ‘youview’ and ‘Your View’ are visually, orally and conceptually similar. The judge agreed with the initial decision of the hearing officer (from the UK Intellectual Property Office) that the meaning of the words is what would be remembered; a view by the person being addressed – either you or your. The judge also took into account the stylisation of YouView TV’s mark and the absence of the letter r in the challenged mark. However, Floyd J found the similarity between ‘you’ and ‘your’ can easily fall victim to the missing letter effect and imperfect recollection for the average consumer.
Total is hoping to seek an injunction against YouView TV’s use of the name as well as damages and costs. However, YouView TV have stated they will not back down without a fight, and has no intention of undergoing a rebrand, despite the court ruling.
See also our post on trade mark searching here.
Rachel Cockin 16 November 2012