IEW, the internet-connected set top TV box company backed by BT and the BBC, has been sued in the High Court for trademark infringement, and may have to face a hefty payout or change its name.
The lawsuit, from Yorkshire-based telecoms firm Total, comes after YouView lost an appeal to have its name trademarked. Two weeks ago, the High Court ruled that YouView has a “confusingly similar” name to Your View, a business owned by Total.
Total is now seeking damages as well as an injunction, which would prevent YouView from using its name. The company’s managing director Stuart Balkie said: “Despite the recent vindication of our position in the appeal proceedings we believe that YouView has continued to act without regard to our registered mark and business interests.”
Arty Rajendra, of specialist intellectual property law firm Rouse, said that YouView would be very likely to lose the case if it were completed, but that “99 per cent of similar cases” end up being settled behind closed doors, with YouView likely to pay a one-off fee to Total.
“I would consider a sum of over half a million pounds to be reasonable,” she added.
The news comes just months after YouView launched, following years of delays which led analysts to question its impact. The technology is being rolled out to BT and TalkTalk’s pay-TV customers.
A spokesperson for YouView said the company has “no intention of changing its name”.