By Kandyce Hall
This article focuses on the power of having a registered trademark and proves that a small company can prevail over a large corporation. A small company that operates comedy clubs in the UK under the trademark “The Glee Club” commenced a trademark infringement proceeding against 20th Century Fox who airs the television show “Glee”. The UK company has had a registered trademark since 2001 and 20th Century Fox didn’t begin airing the television show Glee until 2009. The Glee Club comedy company alleged that the television show would cause their customers to believe the company was affiliated with the show and the confusion would hurt the comedy club’s business.
The high court of the UK found in favor of the UK company and the court of appeals upheld the high court’s decision. The decision was based on the similarities of the television show and live comedy and music shows in which the court believed that “comedy shows could be televised and that a television series could give rise to live tours;” therefore, the similarities of the two marks could cause an “average consumer” to consider that the two shows were connected.
The article also expressed the importance of protecting your trademark and conducting searches within the marketplace continuously to protect your mark. Overall this article shows what small businesses can do to product their goods and services through trademark protection.