US online dating company Plentyoffish Media has failed in its bid to assert trademark rights in the UK, it has been reported.
According to the Register, the firm claimed it was entitled to rights over UK-registered trademarks because it has a high number of website visitors from Britain.
However, the UK High Court said the firm could not claim any “goodwill” rights over UK marks owned by rival Plenty More LLP, due to the lack of physical customers.
Plentyoffish operated its own online dating service at ‘plentyoffish.com’ and argued it was the second most viewed online dating website in the UK.
The website was free to use, but the company required visitors to sign up as members.
It told the court that Plenty More had infringed its rights by using the trademarked sign ‘plentymorefish’ in a website domain.
But Justice Birss QC said the only class of people who could be customers of the Plentyoffish’s business in the relevant sense were the members – the people who joined the site and used the dating services for free.
“A reputation in the UK is not sufficient. Customers in the UK are required and that is so whether the business provides products or services,” he added.