The U.S.-based Gideons International has won a trademark dispute against its former U.K. branch that must now change its name.
In late November, the U.K.’s Intellectual Property Office ruled in favor of Gideons International when it opposed the effort of GideonsUK to trademark their name.
The decision concluded that the U.K. branch’s view that it held some claim to the Gideons name was a “mistaken belief” and done without properly informing Gideons International.
“The application for a trademark was clearly made without the consent of the proprietor of the earlier mark and the reasons that the applicant has given for its action do not, in my mind, constitute a legitimate reason to justify the action,” read the decision.
In addition to having their trademark request rejected, GideonsUK was ordered to pay Gideons International $3,290 (£2,500) for the costs stemming from the litigation.
In comments emailed to The Christian Post earlier this week, Gideons International Executive Director Dan Heighway said he was “pleased that the U.K. Intellectual Property Office upheld the trademark law that exists to protect our name and emblem.”
“Having just learned of the IPO decision, our leadership will be considering next steps for the continued ministry of The Gideons International in the U.K.,” he added.
GideonsUK member Eddie Martin told the U.K.-based Christian publication Premier that he was already looking past the IPO decision.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski