Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
20 October 2004
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
09, 13, 16, 18, 21, 25, 41
The Secretary to the Quorn Hunt
Marlow Foods Limited
Sections 5(2)(b), 5(3) & 5(4)(a)


Section 5(2)(b): - Opposition partially successful in respect of Class 16.

Section 5(3): - Opposition successful.

Section 5(4)(a): Opposition failed in respect of Class 16; no formal finding in respect of other classes.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. Amendment of pleadings.
  • 2. Comparison of the marks QUORN v THE QUORN HUNT.
  • 3. Section 5(3); detriment; 'vegetarians' mark, possible association with hunting.
  • 4. Survey evidence.
  • 5. Costs in proceedings before the Registrar.


The opponents cited a number of their registrations of the mark QUORN in various classes. Initially, and as a gesture of goodwill in the hope of reaching an amicable settlement, the opponents had limited the scope of their opposition under Section 5(2). Later, when it appeared that no settlement could be reached, they applied to widen the objection or cover a larger range of goods. The applicant had been apprised of the request but had made no response to it. The Hearing Officer allowed the amendment of the pleadings in view of the need to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and the ‘neutral’ stance adopted by the applicant. He did however reject a still later request to amend the pleadings respecting the Section 5(2)(b) objection.

Dealing first with the Section 5(2)(b) objection, which related to the Class 16 specification only, the Hearing Officer, found some of the goods to be similar. The marks too he found to be similar and in the result the opposition under Section 5(2)(b) succeeded in respect of the similar goods.

Under Section 5(3), the goods being dissimilar and the marks similar, the opponents were required to demonstrate that their mark would suffer one or more of the adverse consequences envisaged in the Section. Survey evidence established that a significant number of people would make an association between the marks. The vegetarian nature of the opponents' mark and registrations could be damaged by any association with the applicant's fox-hunting mark.

The applicant had not supplied any evidence in support of a possible ‘due cause’ defence.

In the result the Hearing Officer found the opponents successful under Section 5(3).

Under Section 5(4)(a) the Hearing Officer confined himself to a consideration of the remaining goods in the applicant’s Class 16 specification. In the result he found that the opponents did not succeed under that Section. The application would be allowed to proceed if it was amended so as to cover only those remaining Class 16 goods. Failure to amend would result in the refusal of the application in its entirety.

Full decision O/319/04 PDF document81Kb