It's come to our attention that "pimp my data" outfit Phorm may not have been as ground-breakingly creative as we'd have expected when knocking together its logo. The logos of Phorm design and Phorm Compare if you will the logo of Sheffield-based Phorm Design (top) with that of the world's favourite adware company. Quite spooky …
They're in radically different businesses so trademark damage will be hard to demonstrate...
..although bad phorm has a pretty terrible reputation, and that's likely to brush off onto good phorm.
I am not suprised by this at all, they wish to copy our data also under the flag of protecting us wouldnt trust the pimp firm an inch. He seems to have the moto what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine.. Time the ISPs took off the rose coloured glasses and saw this companies true colours..
Not worth going to court over ...
... they will be called something else next year.
see - they can't even rip off someone else's logo without getting it mixed up
sue them for everything they have! tell them that their recently dealings have made the public fear their name and thus yours! bring them downnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!
But we anonymised it...
Phorm anonymised Phorm Design's logo then allocated a cookie to it and redirected it a few times before they copied it...
So that makes it ok then... nothing illegal there... and, so what if it was illegal... as we're such an ethical and honest bunch at Phorm we can do what we like...
Never mind the logo...
What about the name? I assume good Phorm registered theirs..?
lol this story has made my day!
I'm no legal expert but I reckon Phorm Design have a good case, along with bringing the name into distripute (spl?)
DIE PHORM DIE! (not Design, the crap one)
I wouldn't use that Sheffield company for fear of it being linked with (previously) 121 Media, purely because their branding is so similar. I view the logos to be so similar that it bring an image of a subsidiary company or franchise.
There you have it, proof that they are indeed similar from a customers' perspective. You can now sue them for loss of business, because i'd never, EVER deal with a company I thought REMOTELY linked to Phorm (advertising).
Out of Phorm
Time for the Sheffield designers to come up with another logo! They don't want to be associated with these lot do they!
if I were the design company, I'd be more worried about the fact that the name has become a byword for scam artists than anything to do with the logo...
You all misunderstand. This is a new standard in original logos to go along with the new standard in privacy. Look at those big bad google with their logo. Their logo is much worse then Phorm. Neener neener neener.
work if they do take them to court. With the sheer volume of negative publicity surrounding Phorm (Data Whores), a very-similar logo could be argued as having a negative impact on Phorm Design, and thus leave Phorm Design with a case for damages (lost revenue - potential clients assume that they are connected with Phorm (the Big Bitches) and thus take their business elsewhere).
I've seen court cases succeed on flimsier grounds than that!
Phorm's entire business plan is based on co-opting everyone else's work. Hi-jacking your corporate symbol from the mass of 'free content' that is the Internet is entirely appropriate.
close, so close
however, even though I want to scream "SUE THEM" it would have to go to a court of law.
While there is no doubt that the logo is derived from the earlier Phorm there are enough differences that mean they could get away with it. The font is different as are the treatment of the letterforms (i've just had a play with them in photoshop). They've got a decent designer to take the original Phorm logo and morph it just enough to make any legal comeback in doubt.
PH 'cos she knows her logo's
I'm sorry to say that I would certainly have been confused if I had seen that logo on the side of an office of a company with the same name. I would have assumed that they were related, possibly through acquisition, and as a result would have warned people I knew, to stay well away from them.
I think therefore, it is quite reasonable to assume that there could have been collateral damage to the "good" Phorms reputation.
What is the donation account
I bet I am not the only person which will be extremely happy to donate towards their litigation costs.
Anonymously, as I happen to work for a one of the Phoem Phimps nowdays.
If they sue
I'll send a fiver to their legal fund. Anyone else in?
How about if someone establishes a fighting fund or pledgebank to help fund good Phorm's fight to stop bad Phorm blackening their name and plagiarising their logo?
I'd pledge £20 (or more) to the fund to see these parasites taken down.
true to phorm
Well it appears K*nt's company are setting a 'Gold Standard' in breaches of trust, morals & decent business practice. but then parasites like K*nt have been selling iron pyrite since gold rushes began!
If I was a designer in Sheffield I'd be undertaking a re branding exercise and stinging K*nt & co for the costs & dephormation of your business name!
No Win, No Fee
There must be some charitable (sic) legal outfit who will take this on as a No Win, No Fee case. Just for the publicity. Come one guys...
I'm pretty sure that if Phorm Design had registered their trademark that the Phorm Phuckers would go down in a court. Phorm the phuckers have done appreciable harm to the brand of Phorm Design and deserve to be sued, and forced to change their name to "scurrilous spying sossidges".
By looking at the logo from good phorm, and i know it's very small but hasn't it got the little (r) under the o. If this is true then does it mean that phorm is a registered trademark of phorm design. Because if that is true couldn't they sue bad phorm for trade mark infringement with in the uk.
Also i agree that if i was sent a letter from good phorm about something then i would automatically associate it with bad phorm.
Paris:- because she couldn't tell the difference between good and bad
Why not pledge for a real court case?
Why not pledge yer money at a real court case. The people vs. BT PLC.
What about the name?
If you recall the battle of the apples, that only became an issue when apple (guess which!) started operating in the music industry.
If they are in distinct businesses or geographically separated then it's not normally a problem, thus bob the butcher and bob the builder don't have a trademark dispute.
If you want design work done are you going to accidentally give your business to bad phorm?
If you want a creepy snooping possibly criminal wiretap done are you accidentally going to give your business to good phorm?
I suggest a name change, good phorm to erm.. "good phorm" - the pun still works see.. and bad phorm to "Nosey wiretapping possibly criminal scum suckers from hell". Should sort out the too quite nicely.
I like this
We already brand him (the sheffield design company) "good phorm" against the "bad phorm".
NIce pack mentality El reg readers have developed..
Give it a few months and they won't have the clout to defend the legal challenge...
Kent: All your content belong to us
This is the Phorm modus operandi.
Steal valuable content from people who take time to design and create it, and use the keywords obtained to advertise third party sites.
And assume the consent of the creator, because its waaay too difficult to actually bother asking for permission before you gorge on the juicy luscious forbidden fruit.
If content creators don't want to splatter ads their content? They get ripped off and exploited, but that's ok because Simon Watkin @ Home Office says so. The consent of the creative types can be assumed.
Complain to your MP, and get these evil chimps stopped.
Phorm sometimes pay...
... if the story about them paying for the phorm domain name is true, then they must have been doing some searching around the internet to see who else was there. It would be very hard to prove that they had not seen phorm design's logo during their travels.
Coincidence ? - unlikely.
Thinking about Apple v Apple isn't very helpful here - Apple Corps (the Beatles lot) first sued Apple Computer (as was) in the late 70s. The only reason that Apple Computer entering the music industry made it all flare up again was that they'd agreed not to enter the music business as part of the first settlement.
Re: Not worth going to court over ...
You're obviously not a lawyer.
I'm skint ...
... but I'd throw in a tenner.
LONG LIVE SHEFFIELD!
Errr... am I on the right forum?
Psst... Copyright 1998-2003 W3C (MIT, ERCIM, Keio)?
See, e.g., http://www.w3.org/Voice/2003/ir/489/489.txml
Spot the similarity
Anyone else spot the similarity between a outsourcing venture's corporate logo & a cover by a certain band?
Skull & Crossbones (Self explanatory)
Now I've been to the pub but...
Are you f**king kidding me? "3 man band in Sheffield has same name as hated spyware outfit shocker" on the front page?
Come on, are you phoning these articles in from the pub?
Perhaps off-topic, but Good Phorm's gallery browser is extremely Cover Flow-esque... be interesting to know if they had that before Apple / pre-Leopard... these guys could retire off proceeds of the various lawsuits they might have on...
Welcome to Friday afternoon at The Register.
All in the Overlays
If you can overlay one over the other and they match up then you have copyright infringement regardless of whether there's also trademark infringement.
Nissan Computers vs Nissan Motors
Not the first time someone big has tried to steal the little guy's logo/name.
This has been going on just about forever.
Unfortunate for the design company though, since even if they win they'll probably want to change their logo. Even if they stop the data-pimpers from (mis)using it, the association is now too strong to go away.
About as unfortunate as if you'd started a company called Swastika Designs in 1930. :-(
Shouldn't it be...
"Sheffield design company cries *phoul*"?
Trademark law in a nutshell
Good Phorm have taken the trouble to register their trademark and have used the little R symbol. This gives them quite a lot of protection under the law - with one proviso (see below)
Bad Phorm have chosen to use the weaker TM on their logo. Anyone who wants to assert a trademark can include the TM. It does not need to be registered and no money changes hands. HOWEVER in exchange for being cheap, courts are unlikely to be sympathetic when that trademark comes into conflict with a registered mark.
There's an obvious risk of confusion - 'Phorm' is not a word in the dictionary (which is one defence out of the window - you could start a company called Apple and still be protected) and both companies are in the Internet business (which would be a problem if your Apple startup was a computer company).
If I was Good Phorm, I'd love to know how Bad Phorm can claim to have independently hit upon their logo design - right down to the font. That takes coincidence too far.
So the name and the logo of Bad Phorm could, and should, be seen as a case of 'passing off'.
Actually Good Phorm *MUST* defend their trademark. If they choose not to do so in this case, their mark is in danger of become genericised, in which case *anyone* can use it. Good Phorm need to talk to their lawyers as a matter of urgency and get them issue a cease and desist order against Bad Phorm ordering them withdraw their logo and cease trading under that name.
Bad Phorm can claim an innocent error, even blame their designers who may be liable for any costs of infringement. In any case it'd make sense for them to withdraw the logo and the name as they'd almost certainly lose in court.
And if Good Phorm they need money, I'm willing to throw in a £20 to the Register defence fund.
True to phorm
Even the bloody type is identical. If the design agency was to start a fighting fund, I'm sure he'd be inundated with offers - I'd certainly chip in. War by proxy is still a worthy cause in this case.
Got if from the magic routing cookies perhaps.
Oh the irony -
'Identity is everything - without it we are nothing' - phorm quote that is phorm without the bits gouged out.
I do hope the Sheffield Phorm takes the Russian Phorm to the cleaners over this.
It first struck me...
...that Bad Phorm's logo is simply shot to bits...
I think it should also be noted that Good Phorm are also claiming copyright on the whole of their web page, therefore including their logo. More grist to their mill.
BUT ... I've just been for a look at www.companieshouse.gov.uk and followed the WebCheck link. I searched for "Phorm". As I expected, I found the two registrations for Phorm UK Inc, a couple of branch offices of the outfit from Delaware. I also found a Phorm Designs Ltd with a Registered Office in the Fulham High Street.
As I am unwilling to pay for the detailed file I am not certain that they are different from the Sheffield team, but it seems likely.
Alas, the waters get muddier the more you look!
Nah.. see its like changing the odd note in a song here- they cut out the odd part of the letter to make it different.. Not very subtle, they could have at least changed the font, but fuck it- they'll have a new name soon anyway
What a bunch of .......
What a bunch of corrupt pirates indeed , mind in the land of self induced paranoia , all one needed is a DMCA take down letter and they be history !
I would also contribute a fiver
Good Cause - I would however post it anonymously.
Not so much a base as an "all your phorm" rephorm metphinks
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