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Court Fail Puts YouView Broadband IPTV Service at Risk of Losing its Name

Thursday, November 15th, 2012 (7:46 am) - Score 605

The subscription free YouView (IPTV) service, which offers an internet based video-on-demand and catch-up TV solution for broadband users (bundled by UK ISPs BT and TalkTalk or purchased separately), is in danger of losing its name after online billing firm YourView (Total Ltd.) won a key high court battle in London.

YouView is a Joint Venture project between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Channel 5 (Five). The group originally sought to register its name with the UK Trade Marks Registry on 1st April 2010 but was rejected on 30th May 2012 due to being “confusingly similar” to YourView, which is despite both services being completely different and targeting polar opposite markets.

The opposing YourView (Total Ltd.) had originally registered its name almost half a year earlier. Naturally YouView appealed but a High Court judge, Mr Justice Floyd, dismissed that appeal in its entirety at the end of last week.

Paul Gordon, Partner at Willans LLP Solicitors, said:

The Your View trade mark has been registered since 20 November 2009, a fact that YouView were fully aware of when attempting to register YouView. Our client has done the right thing in defending a brand that is pivotal to their business and is legally theirs. We welcome the judge’s ruling.”

Stuart Baikie, Managing Director of Total Ltd., said:

We are delighted with the judgment. YourView is a key differentiator for us and is a significant part of our business and future growth strategy, so it was absolutely imperative that we defended the trade mark that was granted to us in 2009. Our opposition to the youview trade mark has been now been fully vindicated.”

But a spokesperson for YouView warned that it had “no intention of changing its name” and said that a “number of on-going legal actions” would first have to be settled in the courts. In the meantime we can perfectly understand both the registry and the court’s decision as both names are indeed incredibly similar (we got confused twice just while writing about it).

On the other hand we can’t help but wonder why YouView, which allegedly knew about the conflict when registering its name, didn’t merely choose something different. Similarly the registry must share part of the blame for being so slow to reach a decision in the first place. An earlier decision would have allowed YouView to change its name before spending millions on advertising and building a brand, which it must now try to protect.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar Kyle says:

    Whoever is the brand manager of YouView needs to be removed from the company. How can you seriously push ahead with building a brand before you’ve even acquired the legal right to its name?!

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