Frankincense and Myrrh dispute : The protection of trade mark rights in new fields
The UK music scene some would say, has not been given as much attention as that in the US. However, with the global interest in world music increasing, it seems that more people are embracing the unique sound it embodies. As a result, service production companies have developed in order to provide services relating to video visuals to this growing industry. This is particularly popular with the UK’s grime scene, which usually depicts, strong, unapologetic and colourful images of the realities of living in the inner city of London. One notable service and production company is called Frankincense and Myrrh and it has had to protect its IP rights to prevent others from benefitting of its success.
Frankincense and Myrrh (F and M Media Group) is a production company owned by Tarandeep Choudry (Teeeezy C). He is the owner of the trade mark ‘Frankincense & Myrrh’. Since 2015, he has been directing music videos under the name of this mark.
Due to success and increasing revenue that F and M Media Group has been receiving, it applied to register the mark ‘Frankincense & Myrrh’ with the UK Intellectual Property Office (‘UKIPO’). It was registered in nice class 41 (providing entertainment/ production of music videos). However, another individual Frank Kennedy also applied to register a number of marks under ‘Frankincense + Myrrh’.
In deriving its opinion, the UKIPO held that in 2017, Frank Kennedy’s turnover was very low (‘£9000.00’), in comparison to F and M Media Group’s turnover of over £20,000.00. Consequently, even though Frank Kennedy stated that he had been using the mark since 2013, it held that only F and M Media Group showed protectable good will with its use of the sign. F and M Media evidence included its 27 million views on YouTube, screenshots of various music videos featuring their mark, and posters. The UKIPO held this to be more than trivial. Unfortunately, the evidence that Frank Kennedy submitted was not sufficient. Thus, it was ruled that F and M Media Group was the rightful owner of the trade mark.
By Fatima Amedu