Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Guilty by association - perhaps

Interesting and potentially explosive case on the thorny issue of online branding has hit the headlines today.

Yellowikis, a UK-based listings website that allows users to create or update classified ads in the Wikipedia mode, has received a legal notice from, the online version of the Yellow Pages, accusing it of attempting an unauthorised association.

The letter said: “The continued presence in the market of your website will cause substantial damage to [Yell's] good will and reputation".

The father and daughter-run company has taken the rather interesting route of publicising the news on its site and has asked for users to draft responses to Yell, perhaps in the spirit of open access in which Yellowikis was established.

Nevertheless the company said it could cost up to £5,000 in legal fees – and that’s before the case potentially reaches a courtroom.

So is this a case of the Big Boys muscling in on a successful but far smaller rival?

The implications for travel companies, if this case goes to the courts, are also interesting.

There is an argument that, for example, which is an established internet brand of ten years, could take issue with

There are others: and or and

For the record, of course: Travolution has no quarrel with, an Edinburgh agency, or, a site that re-directs to T-Mobile.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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