Could US dating website Plentyoffish stop UK “Plenty More trade mark registration that is fish?

Could US dating website Plentyoffish stop UK “Plenty More trade mark registration that is fish?

Could US dating website Plentyoffish stop UK “Plenty More trade mark registration that is fish?

Written Osborne Clarke on 07 Nov 2011

US internet dating site launched in 2001. UK competitor “Plenty More Fish” set up in 2006 as well as in 2007 filed to join up a seafood logo design and also the expressed terms PLENTY MORE FISH as A british trade mark. The usa site compared, but made it happen have grounds? Miah Ramanathan states the verdict.

Topic: Companies

Who: Plentyoffish Media Inc, the claimant and lots More LLP, the defendant.

exactly What took place:

An endeavor by way of a us based website that is dating have the enrollment of an equivalent brand name with a uk company declared invalid on grounds of passing down unsuccessful during the tall Court considering that the United States site didn’t have clients in the united kingdom.


The defendant started an on-line agency that is dating 2006 and registered a figurative trade mark including the words “PLENTYMOREFISH” for agency online dating services in class 45 in October 2007 (the “Trade Mark”). In October 2008, the claimant, who since 2001 had additionally operated an on-line dating agency based offshore underneath the title PLENTYOFFISH, presented a software into the UK Intellectual Property workplace for a statement of invalidity according associated with Trade Mark under section 5(4)(a) associated with the Trade Mark Act meetville login 1994 (the “TMA”).

The application form ended up being regarding the foundation that the Trade Mark constituted an infringement associated with the claimant’s typical legislation liberties in moving down. Part 5(4)(a) of this TMA provides that the trade mark shall never be registered if its use within great britain would otherwise be avoided under any guideline of legislation (in specific what the law states of moving down) protecting an unregistered trade mark or indication from used in the length of trade.

The Registrar dismissed the claimant’s application in February 2011 in the foundation that there have been no grounds when it comes to statement of invalidity desired considering that the claimant had neglected to offer evidence so it had supplied online dating services to clients in britain and for that reason produced goodwill in the united kingdom as at April 2007 (the date of this defendant’s application for the Trade Mark). The claimant appealed towards the High Court which needed to deal with whether any rights were had by the claimant in moving down in britain. In specific, the tall Court had to considercarefully what comprises goodwill if the investor is really a international business that is web-based.

The tort of passing down

“a person is not to market their goods that are own the pretence that they’re the products of another man” (Perry v Truefitt (1842) 6 Beav. 66 at 73).

The tort of passing down enables a trader to guard the goodwill they will have created within their company and their trade mark from unjust competition in the shape of usage by a third party of an indicator which may have the result of “passing off” the party that is third items or solutions as those regarding the investor.

So that you can bring an action that is successful moving down, a claimant must fulfill the “traditional trinity” test founded by Lord Oliver within the Jif Lemon situation (Reckitt & Colman items Ltd v Borden Inc 1990 RPC 341):

1. There must be evidence of reputation or goodwill in britain attached with the products or solutions;

2. the claimant must show that throughout the span of the defendant’s trade, the defendant misrepresented, whether or perhaps not deliberately, to your public that their products or solutions are the ones associated with the claimant; and

3. the claimant must show that the defendant’s misrepresentation would lead to real harm, or a probability of harm, to your goodwill within the claimant’s company..

Judgment for the Tall Court

Birss Hon QC upheld your decision associated with Registrar. Regardless of the undeniable fact that British nationals had checked out the claimant’s PLENTYOFFISH site therefore the trustworthiness of that site into the UK, the claimant merely didn’t have any UK based clients. Consequently, it failed to offer services that are dating British clients and had maybe perhaps not created any goodwill in britain. The failure to ascertain the presence of goodwill in its online dating services in the united kingdom suggested that the claimant hadn’t satisfied the “traditional trinity” ensure that you consequently the defendant’s utilization of the Trade Mark failed to represent passing down.

The claimant had additionally argued that the united kingdom people to its PLENTYOFFISH site is construed as the clients. The claimant’s enterprize model operated by giving its online dating services totally free via account associated with the site and obtained income through the purchase of marketing area on the internet site to 3rd events. Consequently, the claimant proposed that its British site site visitors produced income when it comes to company by simply virtue of these trip to the web site.

Having paid attention to these arguments, Birss Hon QC decided that for a part for the public to be a person regarding the claimant’s company it should have obtained and utilized services that are dating the claimant. This argument failed as the claimant had failed to provide evidence that it had provided dating services to UK customers. The supply of marketing solutions on or before April 2007 to 3rd events ended up being unimportant into the claimant’s application to invalidate the defendant’s Trade Mark.

Why this things:

Birss Hon QC’s choice adopted the judgment of Lloyd LJ in Hotel Cipriani v Cipriani (Grosvenor Street) Ltd 2010 RPC 16 which figured “an undertaking which seeks to determine goodwill in terms of a mark for items or services cannot achieve this, nonetheless great could be the standing of their mark into the UK, unless it offers clients on the list of public that is general great britain for all those items”.

The end result for this situation adds fat to your human anatomy of current situation legislation which calls for an international business that is web-based show the existence of UK based clients whom receive and make use of its solutions to be able to bring a fruitful claim for moving down.

The judgment additionally helpfully clarifies the idea that an associate associated with public whom gets and utilizes solutions of a web-based business will be considered become a person of these company, irrespective or no matter whether the solutions are offered for a cost or totally free.

Moving forward, international businesses that are web-based be aware that website hits from British based site visitors won’t be evidence of British clients. Current instance legislation supports the scene that the courts usually do not accept that a continuing company with clients in the united kingdom may exist without goodwill. Nonetheless, for the business that is foreign produce goodwill in the united kingdom using a title, mark or indication, it should offer solutions in respect of the title, mark or indication to clients in the united kingdom.


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