Freesat sues Amazon over ‘Freetime’
July 8, 2014
Amazon uses Kindle FreeTime to market the parental controls for its Kindle Fire tablet and its Fire TV media streaming box. Freesat, which is jointly owned by the BBC and ITV, launched its hybrid satellite and broadband platform as <free time> in September 2012. In announcements at the time, Freesat specifically said the service was branded ‘<free time>’.
Freesat has said it filed trademark registrations for ‘FREE TIME’ and ‘FREETIME’ in June 2011, followed by images for the <free time> logo in October 2011.
On September 6th 2012, just two days after Freesat launched <free time>, Amazon launched its Kindle Fire HD range of tablets in the US. Among its features was “Kindle FreeTime”. Amazon said this reinvented parental controls, giving parents “easy-to-use tools to personalise their children’s digital media experience”, for instance by limiting screen time use by type of application.
Freesat has filed a claim at the High Court in London for “loss and damage”. It argues it has spent more than £5.6 million (€7.05m) promoting Freetime, and claims that Amazon was “exploiting for free” the substantial investment it had made in Freetime.