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TalkTalk lawyers target PlusNet

TalkTalk lawyers target PlusNet

TalkTalk lawyers target PlusNet

On Thursday we wrote about TalkTalk's rather shabby attempt to copy our Polish initiative. We had a couple of interesting developments to this story late on Friday afternoon. Firstly a Carphone Warehouse employee had the guts to post a comment on the site. I was pleasantly surprised by that and have to commend Stephen from TalkTalk on his response. However, Carphone's lawyers were not quite so amused :-) So at about 5.30 on Friday afternoon we received the inevitable email from the legal department asking us to change the blog. We'd made the mistake of posting a screen-grab of their site including their logo. A rookie mistake, and my red hands are held high in the air over that one. But we then got accused of Passing Off, which got a collective roar of laughter from the second floor of PlusNet towers. Because if there is one company in the world we really don't want to imitate, it's TalkTalk.

Dear Sir It has been brought to our attention that the logo TalkTalk is being displayed on the blog: (hereinafter the “Blog”). A print screen of the Blog is also attached below for your convenience. The logo TalkTalk has been created by and belongs to, The Carphone Warehouse Limited (“CPW”). CPW has never consented to the displaying of the logo TalkTalk on the Blog. This amounts to copyright infringement and we are entitled to start legal proceedings against you. We hereby request that the TalkTalk logo is immediately removed from the Blog. Furthermore, comments posted on the Blog make direct reference to the TalkTalk website and a hyperlink labelled “TalkTalk” (the “Hyperlink”) has been posted on the Blog. However, this Hyperlink re-directs Internet users to a commercial website that is not the TalkTalk website, or that is not associated with TalkTalk or CPW. There is no doubt that Internet users seeing the Hyperlink will believe that it leads to the TalkTalk website where this is not the case. Such misrepresentation damages the goodwill we have acquired under the brand name “TalkTalk” and amounts to the tort of Passing Off. We hereby request that you immediately remove the above-mentioned link. In view of the urgency of this matter, we are contacting you by email and we request that the above requests are complied with, and we receive written confirmation of this fact, promptly. Should you not comply with this request, we reserve our rights to use this correspondence on this issue of costs and to take further action without delay. We look forward to your prompt response. Yours sincerely. XXX Group Legal - IP Department
Now I'm no lawyer. But I fail to see how linking to a comparison on an independent review site is 'Passing Off'. Perhaps any PlusNet customers who are budding lawyers can advise us on this? :-) The further thought occurs that perhaps TalkTalk would be better off spending their time addressing the reasons why 4,163 of their customers rated their service as 44%, rather than legal sabre-rattling.
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