With the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones, airing its final season the show is being touted as one of the greatest television series of all time. Not surprisingly, others may be trying to capitalize on the show’s wild international success.
The UKIPO has issued two blows to HBO in its attempt to protect its GAME OF THRONES brand: it has rejected HBO’s opposition to the registration of “Game of Vapes” and “Game of Stones” in the UK.
Game of Vapes
The “Game of Vapes” mark is for use in association with tobacco and smokers’ articles. The UKIPO found that the marks “Game of Vapes” and “Game of Thrones” were phonetically similar but the conceptual difference between the words “vapes” and “thrones” was enough to differentiate the brands.
In addition, it was found that the differences were enough for the average consumer to understand “Game of Vapes” was a ‘comedic play’ on the Game of Thrones, and not an attempt to deceive customers as to the origin of the products.
Game of Stones
The “Game of Stones” mark is for use in association with beers sold by Wadworth and Company Limited. Established for over a century, Wadworth is a brewery with strong roots in Wiltshire, England.
HBO owns trademarks registrations for GAME OF THRONES ASCENT Logo and GAME OF THRONES which also claim beerand the sale of beverage products. The Hearing Officer acknowledged that there was directoverlap in the goods. Furthermore, the Hearing Officer acknowledged there was a high degree of phonetic similarity with “Game of Thrones” and “Game of Stones”. However, the use of the image of stones as well as the conceptual difference between “stones” and “thrones” led the opposition to fail.
It’s clear from the outcome of these oppositions that there may be many new “games” to come. Apparently the Seven Kingdoms may not exert much influence over the United Kingdom.
For more information on trademark registration and oppositions please contact us.