A judge has ruled that YouView's name infringes the trade mark of a rival, which has pledged to ask courts to order a name change for the online-connected TV service.
In the UK's Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Monday M. Justice Sales ruled that the YouView brand infringes a trade mark held by Cheltenham-based business-to-business telecoms company Total Ltd. Total's trade mark refers to "Your View," the company's database and portal for clients to manage their accounts with the firm.
Total says it will now seek an injunction against YouView to prevent any further use of the YouView brand, along with financial compensation and legal costs.
Two weeks shy of its second birthday, YouView is an Internet-connected set-top box that conveniently puts online catch-up and on-demand services from several UK broadcasters into your television right next to the regular channels. It's a joint venture between broadband companies and TV channels including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Although you can buy a YouView box on its own, the vast majority of its 1 million users got their box free with a broadband package from BT or TalkTalk.
The legal dispute between YouView and Total goes back several years. Total originally registered "Your View" as a trade mark in June 2009, ten months before YouView attempted to register its name. The dispute has rumbled on with Trade Marks Registry and subsequent appeals ruling in favour of Total.
A YouView spokesperson told CNET that, "We plan to appeal against the court's decision, as we maintain there is no confusion between our consumer-facing TV service, YouView, and the business-to-business billing platform, Your view, provided by Total Ltd."
But judges agree with Total that YouView's trade mark is "confusingly similar" to Total's as it pertains to "broadcasting"; "software for use in downloading, storing, reproducing and organising audio, video, still and moving images and data in compressed and uncompressed form"; and "apparatus for telecommunications, data communications, satellite transmission, television and radio transmission and reception, electronic messaging, access to interactive services and access to the internet."