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YouView TV infringes our client’s trade mark, High Court rules

16 June 2014

Our litigation partner, Paul Gordon represented Total Ltd. in a High Court case which resulted in a ruling today that YouView infringes a trade mark owned by our client, an independent telecommunications company based in the South West.

YouView TV Limited is a joint venture involving the major TV channels and broadband providers, to include the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva and was previously chaired by Lord Sugar.

In a detailed 40 page judgment, Mr Justice Sales today concluded that YouView’s set top boxes and TV service, currently marketed via TalkTalk and BT among others and in use by around 1 million homes across the country, infringed Total’s ‘Your View’ trade mark. YouView had tried to argue that the trade mark was invalid and that there was no infringement, but Mr Justice Sales disagreed and comprehensively dismissed YouView’s arguments.

Total will now be seeking an injunction against YouView to prevent any further use of the name ‘YouView’, together with financial payment and legal costs, among other remedies.

Mr Justice Sales’ judgment is yet another defeat for YouView following its previous unsuccessful attempt to register the ‘YouView’ trade mark for set top box software and hardware. Total successfully opposed the YouView trade mark before the UK Intellectual Property Office. YouView’s appeal was then rejected by another High Court judge, Mr Justice Floyd.

Paul instructed specialist intellectual property barristers, Simon Malynicz, leading Katherine Moggridge, both at 3 New Square, London.

Paul Gordon, litigation partner at Willans LLP says: “This is the most significant of the three wins that Total has obtained over YouView. I think Total has shown great courage and principle in pursuing YouView to trial. Total’s rights were plainly infringed and it had to stand firm against a much larger and better-funded opponent. The judgment of Mr Justice Sales has vindicated Total’s position. It shows that the Courts of this country will protect parties against businesses such as YouView who  infringe intellectual property rights. YouView were made well aware of Total’s rights before they launched the service under the infringing name yet they chose to launch it under that name regardless.”

Lorrin White, managing director of Total says: “As a growing business, Total has always taken the protection of its intellectual property rights very seriously.  I am delighted that our determination – and considerable investment – in doing so has resulted in the Courts finding in our favour once again. Whilst Total may not compare to YouView in terms of size, we both operate in the same industry space.  We protect our rights to brand ownership and wholeheartedly defend those rights – as any business should – otherwise we would never have registered our marks in the first place. Our integrated YourView products are core to the long term strategy of Total.  We are a business that respects our partners, competitors and the wider industry, but YouView have persisted in their infringement of our registered mark, leaving us no option but to take action through the courts.” 

Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
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