Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
14 November 2005
Appointed Person
Mr Richard Arnold QC
16, 39, 41, 42
Helen Hyde
Reed Midem Organisation SA
Appeals to the Appointed Person against the decision of the Registrar's Hearing Officer in Opposition proceedings


Both appeals partly successful; specification amended.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. "cases which are materially alike should be treated alike and that it is an error of principle to arrive at different conclusions in respect of them."
  • 2. Amendment of applications on appeal.


At first instance (see BL O/135/05) the Hearing Officer had found the opponent successful under Section 5(2)(b) in respect of one set of marks but not successful in respect of the other. He also found the opposition under Section 5(4)(a) to have failed in respect of the second set of marks; (he did not include the first set in this appraisal).

Both sides appealed against this decision on various grounds; the opponent claiming, inter alia, that the Hearing Officer's findings in respect of the second set of marks were inconsistent with his findings in respect of the first set, there being no material difference between the two sets. The Appointed Person agreed with the opponent on this latter point, having dismissed all the other grounds of appeal.

However, during the hearing and in response to a suggestion by the Appointed Person, counsel for the applicant adopted a fall-back position by which the specifications would be tightly restricted to the services on which actual use could be shown. The Appointed Person therefore went on to consider the Section 5(2)(b) position in respect of these amended specifications and, in the result, found that they would not give rise to a likelihood of confusion.

Having considered the grounds of appeal under Section 5(4)(a) the Appointed Person dismissed them.

The result, therefore, was that the applicant's appeal was allowed in relation to the restricted specifications whilst the opponent's appeal was allowed in that both applications would be refused save in respect of the restricted specifications. All other grounds stood dismissed. A decision on costs was deferred

Full decision O/306/05 PDF document94Kb