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A&E Television Networks LLC v Discovery Communications Europe Ltd [2013] EWHC 109 (Ch)

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  26 February 2013

 

John Baldwin QC and Charlotte May recently acted for the successful defendant in A&E Television Networks LLC v Discovery Communications Europe Ltd [2013] EWHC 109 (Ch), a trade mark and passing off dispute between rival documentary television channels. James Mellor QC and Lindsay Lane acted for the claimants.
The claimants operate cable and satellite television channels under the name “History” and “Military History” and hold a registered trade mark for THE HISTORY CHANNEL. Discovery launched a competing channel under the name “Discovery History” in November 2010.
The Court held that use of the name “Discovery History” would not cause a likelihood of confusion among members of the public and rejected the claims for trade mark infringement and passing off.
The Court commented on the impact of Interflora Inc v Marks & Spencer plc  [2012] EWCA Civ 1501, which (had it been applicable) would have excluded questionnaire evidence gathered by the claimant which in the judgment of the Court was of no probative value. The Court dismissed Discovery’s counterclaim for revocation of the trade mark.