Some guidance back from emails re use of "inxpress" as part of www.inxpress.co.uk . Apparently there is a free half hour from the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys but the next convenient date for me will be in July. The procedures following the Trades Mark Acts of 1994 do not include any notification to existing websites of a proposed trademark. Presumably this suits lawyers as websites would need to establish trade marks as well as registering a domain name.
There is common law about "passing off". I don't think though that there is any confusion. A freight company is not the same as an archive for an internet cafe that is no longer possible to find in any physical space. It just happens to be the first internet cafe in Exeter so has some historic local interest. It is also the base for various other projects that continue ideas first discussed there. So I think the "passing off2 would be if InXpress Global Pte. Ltd was able to present inxpress.co.uk as if it had always been a site for their company. I can claim this as a possibility because they tried to buy the domain before sending the cease and desist letter.
But why should there be any legal dispute over the words? There are other domains including inxpress that are working well. Dotcom and soforth. The words in, international, internet and express are widely used. Will every word become a continuing story of legal fees? Is this really intellectual property or likely to increase applied technology?
the words "app" and "store" for example
or "family" and "feast"
There is a point to all this. Apparently there is some support for local media in the UK and awareness that video can be online as well as proper telly. But the political discussion is almost always about large companies and how to protect copyright. This was my impression of the Commons debate towards the end of the Labour government as well current discussion. How will any local project develop brands or identity or hang on to a website without a team of lawyers to check if global operations have filed the appropriate fees?
Of course the cease and desist letter was sent on April 1st so I may be over reacting.
#inxpressip refers to the intellectual property around inxpress and is in itself not the same word so presumably can be used on Twitter.