[ insert obligatory Clash of the Titans headline, although this is more a David v Goliath story… ]
I was asked for a comment yesterday about a story that the Rugby Leage team the Gold Coast Titans have opposed the registration of a trademark by the Canterbury Titans, an under-14s Rugby Union team.
A quick search of the ATMOSS register shows that there are quite a few organisations using a name in the form ”<description> Titans”. I suggested that the word 'Titans' in this context is fairly generic, and that I couldn't see a high likelihood of confusion.
What makes this strange is that the Gold Coast team don't appear to mind people using their likeness:
We encourage lots of junior clubs to use the Titans name and colours . . . but we can't allow a business to register a trademark that is so similar to ours.
I see some generic similarity, in that both logos use the word 'titans' and both have a stylised helmet in the name. Beyond that, I'm not sure that Gold Coast have such a strong claim. What do you think?
Compare the image of the US Stone Oak Titans, which certainly seems very similar to the Gold Coast titans:
I'm not convinced that a Rugby fan is going to be confused by two teams, from two different codes, with two widely differing financial and skill bases, sharing the same fairly generic team name. If that's true, should the Gold Coast Titans have a legally enforceable right to prevent the U14 team from using the name 'Titans'?