eBay Vs UKBAY
According to a UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) decision delivered in November 2018, online auction site monopoly, eBay, failed to prevent the registration of a trademark application by ‘UKBAY’, a company whose mark is noted in the opposition statement as “highly similar to the opponent’s marks and that the services at issue are identical or highly similar.”
SC ZuMedia Games applied to register UKBAY in April 2017, and eBay opposed the application in April 2018. But the IPO rejected the opposition, stating that: “Of the two verbal components, “BAY” is clearly the most distinctive, as “UK” will be perceived by the average UK consumer as indicating a geographical location. The device is not particularly distinctive and plays a lesser role to that of the verbal element but it remains a noticeable component in the overall impression.”
In other words, the trademark office decided the decision should focus on whether the average consumer would confuse the two marks. eBay now have to pay the court and opposition fees which amount to a measly £560. A small cost to the online giant’s pocket, but an important milestone in the journey of its brand.