2 July 2019Trademarks

Uber wins TM opposition at UKIPO

Uber has successfully opposed a trademark application made by Northern Irish mobile phone accessory retailer Uberfone.

Last Thursday, June 27, the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) ruled that there was a likelihood of confusion among consumers between Uber’s marks and that of Uberfone.

Uberfone applied to register a logo, featuring the company’s name along with the slogan “We’ve Got You Covered”, in June 2016.

The trademark application covered classes 9, 35, and 38 for goods and services including mobile phones and accessories, retail services associated with mobile phones, and services related to communications apparatus.

Uber opposed the application in February 2017, citing six EU trademarks for its different platforms, including the Uber taxi app, Ubereats, and UberX. The Uber marks also cover goods and services in classes 9, 35, and 38.

While Uberfone supplied a statement denying Uber’s claims, only the taxi app company provided evidence during the case, the IPO said.

In its ruling, the IPO found that the specification of goods and services in Uber’s marks encompassed those outlined in the Uberfone application.

The goods and services covered by the opposing marks in classes 9 and 38 were identical, the IPO found, while the goods and services covered by class 35 in Uberfone’s mark were “complementary” to Uber’s mark in class 9.

Uberfone had claimed that the average consumer would understand that the “Uber” element of its mark meant “superb or happy” in German.

This does not convince the IPO examiner, however, who commented: “Given the reputation of the UK population as being monoglots the number who will know of the meaning will, I believe, be relatively low.”

Taking into account the potential for imperfect recollection, the IPO said, it was likely that consumers could be confused into thinking that Uberfone’s goods and services were linked to those of Uber.

The IPO awarded Uber costs of £2,300 ($2,903).

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