E! in ecstasy over High Court victory

Hot off the BAILII website this afternoon is today's ruling of Mr Justice Peter Smith in Deutsche Telekom AG v E! Entertainment Television Inc [2006] EWHC 33 (Ch).

EET applied to register as a series of UK trade marks the words E! ONLINE and E! Online for various goods and services in classes 9,16 and 41. Deutsche, who owned the T-ONLINE UK and CTM for similar goods and service, opposed the application, pleading a likelihood of confusion between the T-ONLINE and EET's marks and also alleging that, by virtue of T-ONLINE's reputation, EET's registration would cause detriment to the distinctive character of the T-ONLINE mark.

The hearing officer examined Deutsche's evidence and found that, at the date EET applied for registration, it could not be said that Deutsche had used its marks to such an extent that they had become particularly distinctive, or that Deutsche had a reputation that could be protected - particularly since the T-ONLINE service was available only in the German language.

Deutsche's appeal was dismissed by Peter Smith J. In his opinion the hearing officer’s judgment was unimpeachable: he had correctly set out the law, correctly identified and summarised the relevant evidence and had then applied it in accordance with those principles. What's more, the hearing officer had not erroneously dissected the marks when comparing them.

The IPKat thinks this looks right on the facts. The fact that Deutsche Telekom's T ... is so well-known in its own right does not mean that T-ONLINE has inherited the same degree of reputation.

E! Online here
T-Online hier
Information on Ecstasy here, here and here
Spirit of Ecstasy here
E! IN ONLINE ECSTASY E! IN ONLINE ECSTASY Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 Rating: 5

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