Experts Weigh In on LinkedIn/KinkedIn IP Dispute

Analysts from the International Law Office have outlined the current state of the LinkedIn vs KinkedIn trademark dispute in a blog post.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) rejected the kink dating platform’s 2017 application on the grounds that it might tarnish the reputation of the professional networking site, despite there being little potential for confusion.

JK Solutions, the web service provider, noted in the post that LinkedIn is “clearly a business networking and job hunting site”, and that any new product advertised as a “kinky casual sex site” likely bears no affiliation in the minds of consumers.

Magdalena Borucka and Christopher Benson from the International Law Office called the overall case “particularly interesting” because of the conclusion that no infringement had taken place, despite the overwhelming similarity between the two names.

They also suggested that both parties had made significant mistakes that could prove to be detrimental to their causes.

For example, LinkedIn failed to adequately provide evidence about the size of its global brand and its reputation, strengthening KinkedIn’s position.

KinkedIn made the admission that millions of people do indeed recognise the social media company, however, and this may have caused UKIPO to side against it.

The analysts concluded that trademark owners should be careful about what they are using their marks for, as regulators are beginning to take that into consideration when making decisions on competitive cases.

Read more here.