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Google Sued Over ‘YouTube Shorts’ Branding

YouTube Shorts was launched to compete with TikTok and Instagram Reels, but it may face a tougher battle from a UK company with a similar name.

Shorts International launched in 2000, and calls itself “the world’s leading short entertainment company”. It claims to have “the world’s largest catalogue of short movies.”

The company operates ShortsTV, a 24/7 digital station dedicated to short films, and produces the annual Oscar Nominated Short Films theatrical release. AMC Networks a significant minority shareholder.

The UK High Court will now decide whether YouTube Shorts needs to undergo a costly rebrand.

“Google has used, in the course of trade, without the consent of SIL, signs that are similar to the Trade Marks in relation to goods and services which are identical or similar to the goods and services for which the Trade Marks are registered or some of them,” reads the injunction submitted by Shorts International.

“Because of the similarity there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the relevant public.”

“Further and additionally, where Google uses the Devices in association with the sign YouTube, or the Google Sign YouTube Shorts, members of the public are liable to assume that Google, through YouTube, owns or has acquired the brand,”

The tech giant won a ruling last week allowing a more drawn-out trial, despite Shorts International citing concerns over an “imbalance of resources between the two parties.”

Shorts International has since moved to clarify that this isn’t a loss for them.

“This was a procedural application on the best forum for deciding Shorts’ claim, not a victory for Google,” the company said.


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