HILIFE MUSIC GROUP Triumph in Trademark war, following seven-year dispute
Hilife Music Group CEO Adrian Fife has expressed his delight following the recent trademark decision, acknowledging legal representatives, Trade Mark Wizards, backed by Lord (Alan) Sugar, and the law firm’s fundamental contribution in the successful outcome of the dispute
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, - Hilife Music Group have been successful in its UK trademark and name dispute spanning a seven-year period against music company rivals Hilife Music Entertainment, for goods and services of music and entertainment in the trademarks of Hilife, Hilife Music and Hilife Music Group.
The dispute began in 2016 when a business organisation registered Hilife Music Entertainment as a limited company, also registering Hilife Music Publishing and subsequently registering the trademarks Hilife and Hilife Music, to provide among other services, goods and services of music and entertainment.
Hilife Music Group putting into effect their earlier unregistered rights, argued that the use of the name Hilife, by Hilife Music Entertainment was a misrepresentation of the brand name that would damage the reputation of the already established Hilife brand in goods and services of music and entertainment in which they claimed to have several years of goodwill prior to Hilife Music Entertainment trademarks.
The Hilife Music Group legal team, additionally making the argument that the fundamental and defining factor of the Hilife Music Group name is “Hilife”, and that the additional elements of the company name merely stated that they are a group of companies in addition to the goods and services that they provide, and that applying this principle to the company name Hilife Music Entertainment further highlighted the fact that both company names are highly similar and therefore use of the name “Hilife” by Hilife Music Entertainment is a misrepresentation of the name “Hilife” which would cause damage to the already established brand as well as confusion in the market place by means of presumed association or connection to Hilife Music Group, where there is none.
During earlier court proceedings that were issued against Hilife Music Entertainment at The Company Names Tribunal, Hilife Music Group were unsuccessful in their legal effort for a compulsory change of name however, were aided by the legal ruling of this dispute which added weight to Hilife Music Group’s claim of having goodwill in the name “Hilife” prior to Hilife Music Entertainment’s first use.
In the following trademark tribunal proceedings that took place, at the European Union Intellectual Property Office and later at the UK Intellectual Property Office. Hilife Music Entertainment argued that they owned the trademarks for Hilife and Hilife Music whereas Hilife Music Group argued that they had earlier unregistered rights that they stated date back as far as 2007 when Hilife Music Group originally commenced operations, adding that the name Hilife Music was used from this time and was only later registered as a limited company in 2014, in addition to the name Hilife Music Group that was also used from 2007 but only later registered as a limited company in 2015, nonetheless all taking place a number of years prior to Hilife Music Entertainment incorporation dates and trade mark registrations.
The decision at the UK IPO adjudicated in December 2022 was granted in favour of Hilife Music Group, in accordance with UK IPO trade mark law. An appeal by Hilife Music Entertainment was recently decided at the UK IPO, and once again granted in favour of Hilife Music Group, with the original decision of December 2022 being upheld and Hilife Music Group being successful in removing Hilife Music Entertainment UK trademarks for services of music and entertainment for the trademarks, Hilife, Hilife Music and Hilife Music Group.
A Hilife Music Group source said: “We have been using the name Hilife Music for many years now and have a longstanding reputation in music and entertainment, and for a third party to appear a number of years later and to register our name, which is essentially registering a highly similar mark for identical and highly similar goods and services, was not only an unethical business practice but also a violation of our earlier unregistered trade marks, for all intents and purposes their registrations were a misrepresentation of the Hilife name, “passing off” their goods and services for our goods and services and misleading the general public.”
“In the initial stages of the seven-year dispute we asked Hilife Music Entertainment to change their name but they refused, making it necessary to bring these proceedings, the UK IPO having now seen the evidence, have ruled that Hilife Music Entertainment was in violation of our trademark rights. The use of Hilife by Hilife Music Entertainment took unfair advantage of our longstanding reputation and goodwill, misleading the general public and those in the music industry. We are pleased that the UK IPO have ruled in our favour.”
In an official statement released by the Hilife Music Group Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Fife said, “This is a momentous occasion for myself and our company and all that are involved with Hilife Music Group, we are very pleased with the decision and can now focus on several major projects currently underway that are due to be rolled out over the course of 2023. As the seven-year timespan would suggest, the dispute has been a very long and complex process however, we are delighted that it has come to a successful conclusion.
We would like to give a special mention to our in-house legal department, in addition to expressing our gratitude and thanking our long-standing company partners and legal representatives, Trade Mark Wizards, in addition to our lawyer, Neil Manani, and also our barristers Jamie Muir Wood and Kendal Watkinson from Hogarth Chambers together with Trade Mark Wizards company directors, Oliver Oguz, Kishore Devshi and Lord (Alan) Sugar.
We are very pleased with the result and Hilife Music Group look forward to continuing the real work of providing music and entertainment to the world.”