GoCompare ordered to pay costs in aggregator showdown

Comparethemarket has won a battle with GoCompare after the competitor aggregator tried to stop it from trademarking the phrase ‘compare the market’.

BGL Group, which owns comparethemarket.com, has already registered the composite word.

But its bid to exclusively use the phrase “compare the market” was opposed by arch rival GoCompare.

GoCompare argued the phrase was “merely descriptive” and a common term.

But the Trade Marks Office ruled the three words had developed a “distinctive character” – partly due to the success of its meerkat ad campaigns.

Comparethemarket showed that online searches for “compare the market” rocketed after its meerkat campaign began.

And analysis by Google showed that for every two users who searched for comparethemarket, 32 others searched for “comparethemarket”.

Comparethemarket also showed other price comparison sites had started to use the phrase in a bid to receive internet traffic from customers who searched “compare the market”.

The Trade Marks Office ordered GoCompare to pay BGL Group £3,100 towards its costs.