Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
4 February 2004
Hearing officer
Mr M Foley
03, 09, 14, 18, 25, 28
Friedrich Knapp, Andreas Czech, Franz Schmitt & Hans-Joachim Ahrens
Freightliner Limited
Sections 5(3) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(3) - Opposition failed.

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition successful in relation to some Class 9

Points Of Interest

  • 1. None


The opponents opposition was based on their ownership of the mark FREIGHTLINER which they had used for many years in relation to the transport of goods in containers on rail networks. Such use has been extensive and the opponents’ have a significant reputation in the freight transport field.

Under Section 5(3) the Hearing Officer noted that the opponents reputation was in a narrowly defined area and was some distance from the goods of the applicants. Overall it was the Hearing Officer’s view that in the absence of specific evidence there was unlikely to be any loss of distinctiveness of the opponents mark nor would the applicants gain any unfair advantage.

Under Section 5(4)(a) – Passing Off – the Hearing Officer generally took the same view as under Section 5(3) above. However, he took a somewhat different view in respect of some of the applicants’ goods in Class 9 which he thought could be used in the opponents’ business. The Hearing Officer therefore proposed an exclusion to the Class 9 specification to avoid any area of conflict. The exclusion to read "but not including any such goods for use in the management of freight cargo or freight transport vehicles".

Full decision O/034/04 PDF document37Kb