Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
22 December 2003
Hearing Officer
Mr M Reynolds
The Waterless Valeting Company Limited
William Struth
Sections 3(6) & 5(4)(a)


Section 3(6) - Opposition failed.

Section 5(4)(a) - Opposition failed.

Points Of Interest

  • 1. The opponent appealed the Section 5(4)(a) ground to the Appointed Person. In her decision dated 2 July 2004 (BL O/209/04) the Appointed Person upheld the Hearing Officer’s decision and dismissed the appeal.


The opponent claimed that he had been introduced to a new dry wash product in the USA for use in the valeting of motor vehicles and he had brought the product back to the UK and set up a valeting business under the WATERLESS mark in 1995. This mark was used in a wave form in the colour pink and the opponent noted that the applicants claimed the colour pink and blue in relation to the second mark in the series applied for. The opponent accepted that he could not claim exclusive rights in the word WATERLESS but said that as the applicants proposed to use an almost identical mark in an identical colour, confusion was likely.

The opponent filed details of modest use and promotion of his mark from 1995 onwards but such use was not particularly well documented. He also claimed that principals of the applicant company had been appointed as Licensees but again documentation confirming this fact was not provided. Under Section 5(4)(a) – Passing Off – the Hearing Officer noted that the opponent’s only claim was in relation to shape and colour and he concluded that the evidence filed was totally insufficient to support this ground of opposition. The opponent, therefore, failed on the Section 5(4)(a) ground.

As regards the ground under Section 3(6) the Hearing Officer examined a license agreement between the opponent and another party called Anderson whom he claimed were principals of the applicant company. The Hearing Officer found the Agreement inconclusive and in any case there was no evidence that the Andersons were principals of the applicant company. Opposition thus failed on this ground.

Full decision O/398/03 PDF document75Kb