LinkedIn refuses to connect with KinkedIn: LinkedIn prevents KinkedIn trade mark bid for its dating site
In 2017, a web services provider JK Solutions applied to register the mark ‘KinkedIn’. However, the mark was opposed by the professional networking service provide LinkedIn. LinkedIn felt that the mark ‘KinkedIn’ was highly similar and was likely to cause confusion. Furthermore, as ‘KinkedIn’ was being registered for agency services for computer and video dating services in relation to sharing sexual fetishes, LinkedIn argued that the mark ‘KinkedIn’ would tarnish its reputation, as consumers will assume that there is a connection between the two businesses.
On April 4th 2019, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) agreed with LinkedIn’s above reasoning, and stated that the mark ‘KinkedIn’ could not be registered.
The UKIPO found that since LinkedIn is registered for “social introduction and networking services”, this was broad enough to incorporate “agency services for arranging personal introductions” and “computer dating services”, which KinkedIn was attempting to register. Consequently, the UKIPO found that the mark ‘KinkedIn’ was aurally and conceptually similar to the mark belonging to LinkedIn. The UKIPO acknowledged that the only difference between the two marks were their first letters.