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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Good Morning, I hope this isnt too involved a question

Customer Question

Good Morning,

I hope this isn't too involved a question for thi service but I am seeking some clarification on an issue of copyright/naming rights.
In 2003, together with a colleague, we came up with an idea for internet connected units to be placed in public spaces for information/advertising purposes. We named these units 'Infopods' and registered www.infopods.com as a domain. We also registered Infopods Ltd at Companies House although we later dissolved this company. Over the years we have revisited the plan a number of times while investigating the best way in which it may be marketed. We still own the domain name and there was no evidence of the name in existence prior to our adoption.
I have now noticed that the name and word 'infopod' is in extensive use for simiilar products both as a generic term and, in some cases, as part or all of a company name (or some very similar derivation of it eg: Infopod/Info-Pod).
Does our earlier adoption (as proved by company domain-name registration) of this name provide us any protection from others using it or allow for any recourse to acknowledgement in the the form of business compensation?
Apologies for the lengthy question - I can provide any further details as required.

Regards,

Mark Ferrari
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

What you have is an unregistered trademark but you need to show that the mark has gained goodwill/reputation in the mind of the relevant public, in your case it would be difficult for you to argue this as you have not been using the mark and therefore will not be able to show what goodwill or reputation it has gained.

You would need to go to court and claim damages for "passing off" if you wish to gain financial compensation and for the above reason, I do not think a court will grant you that as such, but the courts have the final say, not us lawyers.

May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks,

Would this also preclude any action as part of an intellectual property claim? It is true that the company wasn't fully functioning as a business however the design idea, name and proposition did originate with us, I believe and were available to view on the Internet.

Thanks again,

Mark
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
You may go to the IPO and get them register you as the rightful owner of the trademark and prevent others from being registered as owners of that trade mark.

See here:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-about/t-protect/t-protect-unreg.htm

Hope this helps