Arguably one of the biggest TV shows around the world, you would think the owners of the ÂGames of ThronesÂ series, TV Network HBO would sail through any opposition attempt.
Unfortunately for them, that thought would be wrong.
UK based brewery, Wadworth filed a UK trade mark application for ÂGame of StonesÂ covering ales and flavoured beers in 2017.
This application was opposed by HBO claiming that it is too similar to their own trade marks and this mark would inevitably Âride on the coattailsÂ of their longstanding reputation and goodwill. This would cause a misrepresentation, leading to consumers thinking the two were linked.
These arguments were killed by the UKIPO who rejected their opposition.
The UKIPO examiner stated that while there was a high level of aural similarity, this was balanced out by low visual and conceptual similarity. The marks did share some identical goods and they did both share Âgame ofÂ but this was not enough.
HBO cited in their case that as the products would be sold in a pub, aural similarity held more weight. While the examiner did recognise this, he said that the products would rarely be done solely aurally, as visual elements such as labels on the pumps would be present.
In respect of the claim for unfair advantage, the examiner stated that Âit is my view that whilst the applicantÂs mark may bring the opponentÂs sign fleetingly to mind, it will not lead to misrepresentation,Â. Therefore, HBO did not have sufficient reputation to succeed in this claim.
WadworthÂs application was free to proceed to registration.