Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
3 September 2004
Hearing Officer
Mr G Salthouse
CF Collections Limited
Joe Boxer Company LLC
Sections 5(2)(b) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(2)(b) - Opposition failed

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed

Points Of Interest

  • The opponent appealed to the Appointed Person. In her decision dated 11 May 2005 (BL O/141/05) the Appointed Person overturned the Hearing Officer’s decision under Section 5(2)(b) and allowed the opposition. Section 5(4)(a) not considered.


In its grounds of opposition the opponent quoted a number of registrations of its mark JOE BOXER but the Hearing Officer decided that its best case rested on registrations in Class 25 of the plain word mark JOE BOXER in respect of identical goods as those of the applicant. The opponent also claimed a reputation in its mark but such evidence as was filed was not extensive and not well focused. The Hearing Officer accepted that the opponent had some reputation and goodwill but not an enhanced reputation.

In comparing the respective marks the Hearing Officer concluded that the applicant’s mark was likely to be seen as the letters KO, referring to “knock out” in a boxing context whereas the opponent’s mark would be seen as a name. Thus while there might be some rhyming similarity between KO and JOE the overall differences in the two marks was such that there was unlikely to be confusion of the public. Opposition thus failed on the Section 5(2)(b) ground.

Section 5(4)(a) not considered in detail but the Hearing Officer concluded that the opponent also failed on this ground.

Full decision O/272/04 PDF document28Kb