eHarmony Wins Legal Battle To Stop Trademark Registration Of ‘Matchedharmony’

The UK Intellectual Property Office has decided to block the trademark registration for a dating site called “matchedharmony” after a legal fight by eHarmony.

The law firm representing eHarmony in the case, AA Thornton, revealed that an application to register the trademark “matchedharmony” was submitted recently.

The man hoping to register the new company, Robert Magill, said the dating site would use astrological-based algorithms to match its users.

However, the trademark application was opposed by eHarmony and its legal representation AA Thornton, who argued the prospective dating site’s mark was too similar to eHarmony’s.

Both parties then filed “extensive evidence” on the issue, about the use of the marks and “the activities of other parties in the market”.

After reviewing both sides of the argument, the application was refused on 10th February 2017 by the IPO’s Hearing Officer on the basis that “the use of the mark is liable to be prevented by the law of passing off”, AA Thornton said.

The Hearing Officer said eHarmony’s evidence was “compelling” and that “the evidence shows that it is a significant business, one of the leading players in the UK market”.

This was despite Magill’s arguments that the services would be differentiated by their matching systems and marketing efforts, and that “harmony” was a generic term used in online dating.

Interestingly, AA Thornton also revealed that fellow dating site unsuccessfully tried to oppose the trademark application.

AA Thornton is a law firm specialising in intellectual property, providing legal assistance across the technology sector.

To find out more about the eHarmony case please click here.