Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
24 June 2004
Hearing Officer
Mr D Landau
SVM Asset Management Limited
Merlin Biosciences Limited
Sections 5(1); 5(2)(a) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(1) - Opposition partially successful.

Section 5(2)(a) - Opposition partially successful.

Section 5(4)(a) Opposition partially successful.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Evidence; Comparison of goods/services: “Where there are services or goods whose nature is not readily understood or known, an opponent needs to bring in evidence in relation to them.


The opposition was based on the opponents’ registrations, in Classes 35 and 36, and use of their mark MERLIN.

Dealing first with the opposition under Section 5(1) the Hearing Officer found some of the services specified in the application to be identical with those in the opponents’ registration. The opposition under Section 5(1) succeeded accordingly in respect of those services.

The Hearing Officer’s consideration of the matter under Section 5(2)(a), required a detailed analysis of the respective services. The evidence which could have helped in this, however was 'noticeable by its absence'; in this case it was not simply a matter of 'buns versus bread'. In the result the Hearing Officer found some of the services to be similar and he concluded that there existed a likelihood of confusion in respect of those services.

Under Section 5(4)(a) the Hearing Officer again found for the opponents in respect of some of the services specified. In view of the limited nature of the opponents' success however the Hearing Officer made an award of costs in favour of the applicants.

Full decision O/181/04 PDF document207Kb