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YouView vs YOUR VIEW: Lord Sugar-chaired TV platform faces Total Ltd in court

YouView vs YOUR VIEW – What’s new?

Lord Sugar-chaired TV platform faces Total Ltd in court

YouView is being taken to court by Total Ltd, which owns and runs a service called YOUR VIEW.

Total Ltd registered the rights to use the name YOUR VIEW nearly a year before the YouView name was registered.

Recently Total Ltd won a High Court appeal that ruled that YouView was too similar to YOUR VIEW prompting speculation that YouView would be forced to change its name. A YouView source told us that it had “no intention of changing” and that the matter would be settled in the courts.

YouView vs YOUR VIEW: Lord Sugar’s TV platform faces Total Ltd in court

Looks like that’s going to happen now as Total Ltd, which is claiming YouView is in breach of the Trade Marks Act 1994, specifically section 10 (2). Total Ltd said via a statement that:

“by use in the course of trade and without consent YouView have used their trademark, which is identical or similar to the YOUR VIEW trade mark, and is used in relation to goods and services which are identical or similar to those for which Total have registered their mark, and there exists a likelihood of confusion including a likelihood of association between the marks.”

YOUR VIEW is an online billing/customer account portal that lets subscribers to Total Ltd’s broadband, mobile and phone services check things like data and minutes used and keep an eye on costs.

YouView is, of course, a digital TV platform that blends Freeview channels with on-demand content.

Admittedly the names are very similar so there’s scope for confusion there. But we think the services are so dissimilar – not to mention aimed at completely different markets – that we’re not sure if the ‘relation to goods and services which are identical or similar’ argument holds much weight.

YouView vs YOUR VIEW: Lord Sugar-chaired TV platform faces Total Ltd in court

Right now the services aren’t that similar at all – they’re both telecommunications products and the similarity pretty much ends there. But if Total Ltd were to launch a smart TV app for its clients or anything that could be set up in the living room then the scope for confusion widens.

We’re waiting to hear back from both YouView and Total Ltd and will update accordingly.

Update: YouView has nothing more to add on the subject other than what it told us two weeks ago, that it “has no intention of changing its name. This matter is complex and subject to a number of on-going legal actions and will be settled in the courts.”

November 26, 2012

  Previous news stories about YouView vs YOUR VIEW  

    YouView loses High Court appeal to use its own name    

YouView has lost a High Court appeal against Total Ltd, a business-to-business provider which operates an online billing portal called YOUR VIEW.

When YouView initially applied to the Trade Marks Registry in May 2012, it was ruled that its name was ‘confusingly similar’ to YOUR VIEW.

Despite this, YouView went ahead with its name, believing the two services distinct enough to not cause confusion in the marketplace.

YouView vs YOUR VIEW: Lord Sugar-chaired TV platform faces Total Ltd in court

The Hon. Mr Justice Floyd however saw things differently and ruled that it was “extremely difficult to maintain the distinction” between the devices and services.

Even if you were to, as YouView’s legal team was arguing “construe “telecommunication services” as excluding the reception of television programs, and as being limited to telephony and broadband,” the Honorable Judge maintained that it “remains the case that an apparatus for receiving one is an apparatus for receiving the other.”

Total Ltd’s managing director Stuart Baikie, 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.”

While this appears to cast doubt on YouView’s ability to call itself YouView in the market, sources tell us that the name is here to stay.

“YouView has no intention of changing its name. This matter is complex and subject to a number of on-going legal actions and will be settled in the courts,” a source told us. 

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