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Trademark Battle: Discovery Channel vs. The History Channel

Trademark Battle: Discovery Channel vs. The History Channel

Wednesday 20 February 2013



A&E Television Networks have lost their claim against the Discovery Channel for trademark infringement.

The claimant own the trademarks for The History Channel, consisting of a Community mark for the word History and a visual device made up of the letter H.

The claim was put forward when Discovery changed the name of one of its channels to Discovery History. 

However, the Judge dismissed the claim, insisting that the use of the word ‘history’ in Discovery’s case is merely descriptive, serving the purpose to identify a Discovery channel which provides historical programmes.

The judge went on to further criticise A&E Television Networks’ attempts at providing evidence for their claim, disapproving of the way it had been prepared.  The is due to the claimant’s use of hearsay evidence, which provided no opportunity to cross-examine the witness, with suspicions that the solicitor had ‘put words in the witness’ mouth’ to achieve more desirable evidence. The judge also believed that the witness statement had been taken without the individuals being aware they were giving evidence, and deemed the method inappropriate. 

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