The Gordian Team
TWO BIRDS, ONE STONED: TWITTER STOPS SINGAPOREAN START-UP FROM REGISTERING BIRD LOGO
Twitter has recently won a legal battle to stop Singaporean tech start-up, VV Technology, from registering a bird logo that Twitter believes is too similar to its own.
VV Technology applied to register its logo of a yellow hummingbird in mid-flight on 10 September 2018 for various IT and software services. VV’s trademark application was opposed by Twitter on 24 September 2019 as the social-media giant believes VV’s trademark to be too similar to its own and will likely confuse the consumers. Convinced by Twitter’s arguments, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) refused to register VV’s trademark. Unhappy with IPOS’s decisions, VV appealed to the High Court
On 23 November 2022 the High Court dismissed VV’s appeal. In coming to its decision, the court held that there exists a likelihood of confusion as the two logos are similar enough that consumers may think that VV’s logo is simply a new iteration or modification of Twitter’s logo. While the court believed that Twitter’s strong reputation would reduce the risk of direct confusion to a certain extent, however, since many tech companies are providing their services at low or no cost, this means that consumers “will likely give an average level of attention during the procuring process, making it ripe for indirect confusion”.
While V V Technology may not be successful in their registering their logo in Singapore, they were able to register the same logo in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
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