US-based computer consulting company SwiftLife has filed a trademark infringement claim against singer Taylor Swift over a mobile app called “The Swift Life”.
Patrick Bénot, owner of SwiftLife, filed the complaint at the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Friday, July 20. Smartphone game and app developers Glu Games and Glu Mobile (collectively known as Glu) were also named as defendants.
According to SwiftLife, Swift and Glu announced in 2016 that they had entered a deal to make a “new, ‘one-of-a-kind’ digital gaming experience”. The social networking app, which allows users to connect with each other via message boards, is called “The Swift Life”.
Bénot alleged that “without first obtaining SwiftLife’s written consent or a licence from SwiftLife, Taylor Swift and Glu developed, substantially advertised, and offered ‘The Swift Life’ social networking app for download on the Apple iTunes store”.
In January 2008, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) registered the word mark ‘SwiftLife’ under number 3,368,913, a year after SwiftLife became an incorporated company.
In 2016, TAS Rights Management, which oversees the singer Swift’s trademark portfolio, filed two trademarks for ‘The SwiftLife’ at the USPTO. The marks have not yet been registered.
Also in 2016, Bénot began to offer an online control panel software that allows users to “manage their lives” by keeping track of contacts, birthdays and credit card bills.
According to the claim, Bénot had intended on expanding the software through marketing and advertising. However, Swift and Glu’s alleged trademark infringement “hampered this growth”.
The claim said that Bénot has been “inundated” with user registrations of individuals that believe his product is associated with “The Swift Life” app.
This confusion has led Bénot to disable the open registration for the software.
Prior to the release of “The Swift Life” app, the company SwiftLife was prominently featured among the top Google search results for ‘SwiftLife’. However, since Swift’s app was released, SwiftLife has allegedly slipped down the pages of search results.
This has led SwiftLife to experience a “slow-down in leads”, with the company’s revenue down compared to last year, the lawsuit claimed.
SwiftLife is seeking a permanent injunction and damages.