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‘Poké Go’ Trademark Opposition

Written by Dimitra Angelopoulou on 29 April 2017

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The large manufacturer of video games Nintendo, filed an opposition of the trademark ‘Poké Go’. This was filed in July last year by a couple in Oklahoma and the intended use of the trademark was for clothing (class 25).

In December, it was published for opposition and on April 19 Nintendo filed to oppose the trademarks. The basis of the opposition is that the trademark was confusingly similar thus causing dilution and being deceptive. Nintendo, owning several similar trademarks registered since 2000 including ones used for clothing and electronics, within its opposition focussed on its seniority on the rights compared to the rights of applicants.

Another point within the application was that Nintendo had not endorsed these products and it is entirely possible that customers would believe that products with the mark ‘Poké Go’ would be approved as well as endorsed by the company. Consequently, in Nintendo’s view in the course of protecting both the manufacturer and the consumers the registration should not be allowed. Researching the mark, it is obvious that Nintendo owns roughly sixty registrations as well as applications of the ‘Poké’ prefix. These trademarks include numerous ‘Pokémon Go’ marks filed in March 2016, before the release of the game in July of that year. As a result, Nintendo claimed that if accepted the trademark ‘Poké Go’ by the defendant would be likely to cause dilution of the unique and distinctive quality of Poké trademarks by clouding in view of the extensive prior use by the manufacturer.

Nintendo’s claims have some foundation therefore it would not be unreasonable for the registration to be denied as a result of this opposition. After all, the purpose of trademarks is to serve as a badge of origin and thus protect both the reputation of manufacturers and the consumers and it is highly likely that allowing this registration would not serve this purpose.

 

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