8 April 2019Trademarks

LinkedIn stops ‘KinkedIn’ dating site’s TM bid

Linkedin has been successful in halting the registration of sexual fetish interest site, ‘KinkedIn’.

On April 4, the  UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO)  ruled ‘Kinkedin’ could not be registered after LinkedIn said the registration would cause consumer confusion and tarnish its reputation.

In 2017, web services provider JK Solutions applied to register the KinkedIn trademark (UK number 3,251,676) for services including “agency services for arranging personal introductions, computer dating services and video dating services”.

But, Linkedin opposed the application and said the mark was highly similar to its own trademark (UK number 8,411,836) and will cause consumers to believe there is a connection between the two companies.

In its decision, the UKIPO said the registration of KinkedIn would be damaging to LinkedIn’s reputation.

The UKIPO said it appears KinkedIn is a “casual kinky sex site catering for kinky or fetish interests”.

It said this image of a sex site is “far removed” from that of a professional network, which LinkedIn promotes itself to be, and therefore could “sully the reputation” of LinkedIn’s trademark.

Additionally, the UKIPO said the services covered by the applied-for mark and earlier trademark were similar to a medium degree.

LinkedIn’s mark is registered for “social introduction and networking services”, which the UKIPO said was abroad enough term to encompass “agency services for arranging personal introductions” and “computer dating services” covered by KinkedIn’s application.

In its ruling the UKIPO found the two marks to be aurally and visually similar to a high degree, finding that the only difference between the applied-for mark and the LinkedIn mark were the different letters at the beginning.

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