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Nokia threatens London digital start up Lowdownapp over use of 'HERE' branding

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By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

January 30, 2015 | 2 min read

A London-based start-up has been threatened with legal action by Nokia for its use of the word ‘HERE’ in its branding.

A mobile personal assistant app called Lowdownapp has been chastised by Nokia for naming its location-based service ‘HERE’ which allegedly clashes with Nokia HERE, a mapping and location tracking app.

The Finnish firm has given the start-up until 10 February to rebrand its Here button, according to the BBC.

A letter from Nokia to Lowdownapp read: “Your use of the HERE sign is likely to deceive members of the relevant public such that they will believe your business is connected with or part of our client's business, when that is not the case.

“This amounts to a misrepresentation that will cause damage to our client's goodwill in the UK and amounts to passing off.”

Nokia which has spent a reported £8m promoting ‘HERE’ claimed the below branding clashed with its own.

In response, David Senior, chief executive of Lowdownapp, likened Nokia’s demands to a David versus Goliath battle: "It's ludicrous - people say, 'I'm here,' to announce their arrival, which is why we have it as a service. As a small start-up trying to deliver value to users we don't think a multi-billion dollar company will be affected by this.

"Life is hard enough without Goliaths squashing Davids, maybe they should focus on creating a better mapping service than Google or Apple than squishing a minuscule business."

Lowdownapp was founded in 2013 in London.

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