Trade mark decision

BL Number
Decision date
17 September 2002
Appointed Person
Mr David Kitchin QC
03, 21
Lidl Stiftung & Co KG
Avon Products Inc
Section 5(2)(b)


Section 5(2)(b): - Appeal dismissed

Points Of Interest

  • See Hearing Officer's decision dated 13 February 2002 (BL O/066/02).


In proceedings before the Registrar the Hearing Officer had upheld the opponents ground of objection under Section 5(2)(b), based on their prior registration in Class 3 of the mark AVON COMORES. In so doing he had found the respective goods to be identical or similar and that the respective marks CAMORIS and AVON COMORES were confusingly similar. (Hearing Officer's decision dated 13 February 2002 BL O/066/02).

On appeal the applicants submitted that the Hearing Officer had erred in not giving sufficient weight to the presence of AVON in the opponents mark and the fact that COMORES was a geographical name for a group of islands where essential oil is produced for the manufacture of perfumes - and thus geographical.

The Appointed Person reviewed the Hearing Officer's decision and noted that the Hearing Officer had clearly referred to the presence of AVON in the opponents mark but concluded that it would be perceived by the public as a well known house mark. He therefore believed that the public would see COMORES as denoting a particular brand coming from the house of AVON. It followed that as COMORES and CAMORIS were very similar visually and orally and that overall the marks were confusingly similar. The Appointed Person approved this finding.

The Appointed Person also rejected the criticism as regards possible pronunciations of the marks COMORES and CAMORIS considered by the Hearing Officer.

Finally as regards the geographical significance of the mark COMORES it was incumbent upon the applicants to file evidence to show that the word would be recognised by the average consumer as a geographical name of islands which produced perfume essences. Such evidence had not been filed and the Appointed Person concluded that the Hearing Officer had rightly decided that the mark would be meaningless to the average consumer in terms of geographical significance.

Appeal dismissed.

Full decision O/400/02 PDF document24Kb