Trademark Issues Ahead?

Mobile operator Orange – now EE – has recently ended its sponsorship of UK cinemas’ “Orange Wednesdays” which for ten years got you 2 for 1 cinema tickets every Wednesday – a day which is traditionally a quiet day with new releases coming just ahead.

So it was interesting to read that the replacement is to be “Meerkat Movies.” Now, instead of having to be either an Orange customer, or just keeping an Orange SIM handy for the very purpose, you need to buy a qualifying product through Comparethemarket.com and, via an app, you’ll be entitled to 2 for 1 cinema tickets every Tuesday or Wednesday.

A couple of things strike me about this:

– It’s probably going to be a bit harder to find a qualifying product than it is to hang onto a SIM card with a couple of quid solely for the purposes of getting cheap tickets. So even though the promotion works two days a week, I’d imagine there’ll be far fewer people using the offer.

– More importantly “Meerkat Movies” must surely raise issues for the up and coming Meerkat app, a big hit at SXSW this year. Since that app is all about live streaming – “movies” if you like – then there’s surely potential for confusion in the UK.

It’s early days for both the app and the promotion, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some trademark/copyright “issues” that need sorting out. I’m sure that Comparethemarket has some intellectual property surrounding their comparison website and the characters they use to promote it. On the other hand, Meerkat app will also have IP.

I’m not a copyright lawyer, and have no idea where this will go, but I’d be surprised if nothing at all happened…