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Talk UK gets feisty over trademark

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Scottish telephone company TalkUK plc is to threatening legal action against Carphone Warehouse over the latter's use of talkUK as a brand name.

TalkUK plc sell a product called Carrier Pre Select which enables consumers to route their telephone calls through TalkUK automatically without having to dial a prefix or install any routing equipment. "Carphone Warehouse's product is essentially identical and was introduced in February this year ten months after TalkUK plc started their service," the Scottish firm said in a statement.

Carphone Warehouse says it has received no formal legal correspondence on the matter. A Carphone Warehouse spokeswoman said it doesn't sell a product called talkUK. Its carrier pre-selection service is called talktalk.

However Steve Delahaye, regulatory compliance manager at TalkUK plc, pointed out that talkUK is one of the products in Carphone Warehouse's talktalk family.

TalkUK has consulted patent and trademark agents, Kennedy's of Glasgow, and is instructing lawyers to object to Carphone Warehouse's proposed trademark registration of talkUK.

This process can take some time and explains why Carphone Warehouse's legal team is yet to receive an official complaint.

TalkUK plc is based in Hillington Park, Glasgow and commenced operations in December 2000 selling telephony and data services on its UK network. Last year the Glasgow firm was involved in a similar case with Bell Corporation of America, which resulted in changing its name from UKBell plc to TalkUK plc, following an out of court settlement with the Bell operating companies. ®

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