The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), the organization that adjudicates Â trade mark oppositions Â Â in the UK, has found in the opponentÂs favor and Â refused the registration of a trade mark in the UK for ÂTrump TVÂ submitted by ÂTrump InternationalÂ in October 2016, a company owned by global entrepreneur Michael Gleissner.
The trade mark was initially challenged by DTTM Operations LLC, the organization responsible for handling trade marks related to US President and businessman Donald Trump. The company holds a trade mark for the word mark ÂTrumpÂ, registered in trademark classes 38 (telecommunications) and 41 (education and entertainment).
DTTM Operations argued that the application for the ÂTrump TVÂ trademark was too similar to the ÂTrumpÂ mark. As a result, they contended, it would necessarily take unfair advantage of, and damage the reputation of, this established word mark that is recognizably found within the UK primarily in the form of the ÂTrump International Golf LinksÂ golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Gleissner countered the opposition, arguing ÂTrump TVÂ was neither visually nor phonetically similar since it contained two words and three syllables as opposed to just one of each for the name ÂTrumpÂ.
In response, the UKIPO maintained that Trump International had an Âindefensible positionÂ stemming from a Âflagrant degree of cynicismÂ there was little probability the applicant would have failed to be aware of the international reputation of the ÂTrumpÂ trademark, even without a trademark search.
Interestingly, this is not the first time GleissnerÂs companies have found themselves on the receiving end of a trade mark claim. Gleissner has an extensive trade mark portfolio with thousands across the world, and a World Trademark Review report found Âan unprecedented 13.2% of all UK opposition decisions in 2018Â being against Gleissner marksÂ. Indeed, in its judgement in the current representative case, UKIPO referenced Âthe well-evidenced pattern of abusive behavior on the part of Mr. Gleissner and his related companiesÂ.