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The High Court has ruled that YouView infringes a trademark owned by Total, 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 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.
Total was represented by Paul Gordon at Willans LLP, a full-service law firm based in Cheltenham specialising in commercial disputes. He commented: “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.”
A YouView spokesperson said the platform planned to appeal against the court’s decision, as it maintains there is no confusion between its consumer-facing TV service, YouView, and the business-to-business billing platform, Yourview, provided by Total Ltd.