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Meerkat Aleksandr Had A Paw In Trade Mark Victory


In a case that revealed the extraordinary power of marketing, Aleksandr the Meerkat and his 750,000 Facebook friends played a critical role in achieving victory for price comparison...


Published on 02 September 2014



by Press Office

(SEOSamba and WireNews)

London, England

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Meerkat Aleksandr Had a Paw in Trade Mark Victory

In a case that revealed the extraordinary power of marketing, Aleksandr the meerkat and his 750,000 Facebook friends played a critical role in achieving victory for price comparison website comparethemarket.com in a trade mark dispute with rivals GoCompare.com.

The loveable star of scores of television advertisements was left standing tall after comparethemarket overcame GoCompare’s objections and won the exclusive right to use, in combination, the three ordinary English words that make up its name.

The company behind comparethemarket.com, BGL Group Limited, already owned trade marks in respect of the composite word. However, its bid to win similar protection for the phrase compare the market in the context of price comparison sites was hotly opposed by GoCompare.

Lawyers representing GoCompare insisted that the phrase was merely descriptive and commonly used by numerous price comparison sites. However, an official acting on behalf of the Registrar of Trade Marks ruled that the three words, read together, had developed a distinctive character due to the phenomenal success of the meerkats advertising campaign.

More than £90 million had been spent on promoting the comparethemarket brand in the first three years after the website went live in 2007. Turnover grew exponentially from £6.6 million in the first year to almost £66 million in 2010. By then comparethemarket had a 23 per cent share of the price comparison market, only eclipsed by GoCompare with over 30 per cent. The first meerkat advertisement appeared in January 2009 and, by 2011, Aleksandr fictional boss ofcomparethemeerkat.com had three-quarters of a million Facebook friends.

GoCompare argued that the phrase compare the market was customarily used on a wide range of price comparison sites and could relate to myriad different markets and myriad different.


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Serenity Law is a London-based commercial law firm like no other. We offer an innovative alternative to the existing conventional solutions. Instead of employing your own full-time, in-house lawyer or consulting a law practice, with Serenity Law you get legal advice when you like, as often as you like and for as long (or as short) as you like. Serenity provides top quality legal services at affordable prices. Serenity Law delivers commercial and dispute resolution legal services to London, UK and international clients. Practice areas areCorporate Law,Commercial PropertyReal Estate and Property LitigationEmployment Law and Intellectual Property.


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Posted 2014-09-02 11:50:00