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Trade mark decision

BL Number
O/164/04
Decision date
8 June 2004
Hearing officer
Mr G Salthouse
Mark
LATCHMERE THEATRE
Classes
41
Applicant
Paul Higgins
Opponent
Christopher Fisher
Opposition
Sections 3(6) & 5(4)(a)

Result

Section 3(6) - Opposition successful

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition successful

Points Of Interest

  • None.

Summary

The opponent, Mr Fisher, stated in his evidence that he had run a theatre at the Latchmere public house in Battersea during the period 1985 to 1992 under the name LATCHMERE THEATRE. Following this period he continued to work in theatre and was associated with a number of plays in the period 1995-2000. Also in the period 1998-2001 his business acted as an independent assessor and monitor of lottery-funded projects. Sample invoices were supplied for consultancy work in the period 1998 to 2001 which were headed "Chris Fisher t/a Latchmere Theatre". Mr Fisher also confirmed that he registered the mark LATCHMERE in 1993 for Class 41 services but had failed to renew as he had changed his address and did not receive the renewal reminder.

When he stopped production at Battersea, Mr Fisher states that he had reached agreement with the owners of the Latchmere public house that he should retain ownership of the name LATCHMERE THEATRE and that future theatre activities at that address should be under a different name. Subsequently, the theatre at Battersea traded under the name the Trace Theatre and variations thereof. Mr Fisher also provided a number of witness statements from others in the theatre world who confirmed the association of Mr Fisher with the name LATCHMERE THEATRE.

Mr Higgins said he was aware of Mr Fisher’s activities at Battersea during the period 1985 to 1992 but was not aware of any further use of the name LATCHMERE THEATRE. He had checked all the relevant directories and could find no trace of further use of the name. Also he was aware that the registered trade mark had expired in the year 2000. During his enquiries he had been advised that Mr Fisher still had an interest in the name LATCHMERE THEATRE and he spoke to Mr Fisher a few days before filing his application and subsequently but no agreement was reached.

Under Section 5(4)(a) – Passing Off – the Hearing Officer accepted that Mr Fisher had established a reputation in the name LATCHMERE THEATRE during the period 1984 and 1992 and that his association with the name and its reputation had been maintained subsequently. Opposition on this ground succeeded.

The opponent was also successful under Section 3(6) since the Hearing Officer concluded that the applicant had been aware of Mr Fisher's continuing interest in the mark in suit when he filed his application.

Full decision O/164/04 PDF document57Kb