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Both Lexvoco Pty Ltd and Lexoo Limited (a UK company), provide online client-matching platforms which allow businesses to easily source and compare quotes from a curated network of specialised commercial lawyers and boutique firms worldwide.
Lexoo serviced its first Australian client in August 2015, following which the Lexoo platform was launched in Australia in late 2016. In 2016, Lexoo also applied to register the trade mark “LEXOO”.
Lexvoco Pty Ltd owns two prior registered trade marks, being the word mark “LEXVOCO” and their associated logo, and provided evidence establishing its services were due to go live around December 2015.
Lexvoco opposed Lexoo’s trade mark application with the key matter to be decided being whether the trade marks were substantially identical or deceptively similar.
The Delegate didn’t consider the trade marks were substantially identical as although the marks shared the prefix “LEX”, the suffixes were obviously different. In particular, the suffixes “-OO” and “-VOCO” have no obvious meaning in relation to the services.
The Delegate also didn’t consider the trade marks were deceptively similar due to:
However, it was interesting that the delegate also noted that where a marketplace for services [or products] is not occupied by many traders, similarities between trade marks might be perceived to indicate the service providers are connected.