One way of reading this story is peppy little upstart being steamrollered by capitalist giant. At which point, Yah, Boo, Sucks, change the law and bring on the revolution.
The correct way to read it is nice try matey but no cigar here:
Amazon has been accused of bullying in a “David versus Goliath” trademark battle that raises the prospect of the US tech giant launching its new pharmacy service in Britain.
Amazon has applied to trademark “Amazon Pharmacy” in the UK but was challenged by a small British healthcare company, which had submitted an application before the American company, according to filings.
Infohealth Laboratories, based in Harrow, northwest London, filed the trademark application in December at the Intellectual Property Office, a month before Amazon.
We’re all familiar with the idea of cybersquatting, right? Work out that condomsdirecttoyourdoor company is going to set up a UK subsidiary and offer so go register condomsdirecttoyourdoor.co.uk and screw them over when they try to do so themselves. Make a pretty turn possibly – charge ’em £10 grand, they’ll probably go for it given legal fees – on the £10 you’ve just paid GoDaddy.
That doesn’t, really, quite work with trademarks.
There has been speculation for some time that Amazon could bring the service to the UK, potentially via an acquisition.
Mr Patel, 47, said that Infohealth had spent about £9,000 but dropped the case “because it was going to cost a lot of money”.
He said that Infohealth wanted the trademark as it was considering launching an ethical pharmacy business using “green based” packaging. He said that he retains ownership of a domain name.
“We appointed a trademark attorney to defend it but they were saying Amazon are so big they’ll flex their muscles and you’ll lose a lot of money. It’s a David versus Goliath case,” he said.
Because no, not really. Applying for a trademark can be done, sure it can. But there’s a certain amount of sensibleness in the system. It’s not like a patent in that first through the door definitely wins. There’s a certain consideration of the aptness of the protection that is being asked for.
A company that doesn’t use Amazon in any other part of its business lineup. When it’s fairly obvious that Amazon is going to do something in this space. No, it’s not the £9k or more to argue about the trademark, it’s that the system is quite clearly going to tell our plucky little upstart to bugger off. Because you’re trying it on matey.
Now, if you’d actually been selling drugs by mail, using the Amazon trademark, since before Amazon bought Pillpack and was fairly obviously going to be in this space then yes, you might well have been able to flip that registration. Even then it’s not necessarily so but 30 days is too obvious.