High Court rules YouView infringing trademark
Joseph O'Halloran | 17 June 2014
In yet another setback for the UK subscription-free, video-on-demand service, the YouView brand has been found to be infringing a trademark owned by telecoms firm, Total Ltd.
Total first took legal action against YouView TV in November 2012 and in a 40-page judgment, Mr Justice Sales concluded that YouView's set-top boxes and TV service infringed Total's YourView trademark. YouView had tried to argue that the trade mark was invalid and that there was no infringement, but the judge disagreed and dismissed YouView's arguments.
Following the High Court ruling, Total intends to apply for an injunction against the use of the YouView mark by the TV consortium — founded by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva — which, thanks mainly to the two ISPs has only just begun to gain traction in the highly competitive UK television market. Total will now be seeking to prevent any further use of the YouView name along with financial payment and legal costs.
"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," commented Total managing director Lorrin White. "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 has persisted in its infringement of our registered mark, leaving us no option but to take action through the courts."